You may have heard of PCIe if you’re a PC builder or have purchased the odd SSD, but Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) is something rather different. Let’s get into it.
Across computing, there is a lot of jargon, especially when it comes to connectivity and processors. Well, UCIe falls into both of these categories and you could be hearing about it a lot more over the next few years.
UCIe is a technology that could revolutionise how chips are built and it could have wide-ranging consequences for consumers. Here’s our clear explainer on Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express.
What is UCIe?
Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) is a standard for chip design, introduced in March 2022. UCIe is aimed at creating interoperability between different parts of a chip (known as chiplets) through a standardisation of the connectivity (via UCIexpress). In more complex terms, it is the standardisation of die-to-die connectivity in multi-die systems. The move will enable chips to be made up of different technologies from different manufacturers.
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The board of this open standard features TSMC, Intel, Qualcomm, Arm, AMD, Nvidia, Microsoft, Meta, Alibaba, Google Cloud, Samsung and more, demonstrating the near industry-wide backing it has. Board member Intel has touted that the technology will enable lower system costs (via Forbes) and “ultimately allow for the next generation of technological innovations“.
The specification is currently at UCIe 1.1, which introduced improvements upon the original 1.0 variant. The new standard improves reliability, enables more protocols and allows for broader usage models. There are specific boosts for automotive use, like predictive failure analysis and health monitoring. It is also fully backwards-compatible with the previous specification.