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All About Chiplet Technology

Key Takeaways

  • Chiplet technology leads to versatile and customizable  modular chips, which leads to reduced development timelines and costs.

  • Chiplets—as opposed to monolithic chips—enhance performance, reduce power consumption, and improve design flexibility, making them a revolutionary advancement in semiconductor technology.

  • The development and adoption of chiplet standards, such as UCIe, paves the way for seamless integration of chiplets within System-on-Chips (SoCs), opening up new possibilities in computing and technology applications.

Single chip made out of smaller chiplets

With chiplet technology, multiple chiplets can be mix-and-matched into a larger chip.

Chiplet technology revolves around modular chips capable of amalgamating to shape a comprehensive system-on-chip (SoC). They are designed for chiplet-centered architecture in which multiple chiplets connect to create a singular circuit. Delving further into chiplet technology, we’ll look at why they are so important, their relationship with SoCs, and chiplet technology trends.

Chiplet Technology Key Advantages



Reusable Intellectual Property (IP)

Integrating chiplets in various devices can reduce development costs and increase flexibility.

Known Good Die

Testing chiplets before assembly enhances final device yield and reliability.

Enhanced Performance

Specialized chiplets optimize performance for specific tasks.

Reduced Power Consumption

Chiplet integration allows downsizing processors, which reduces power requirements and heat generation.

Flexibility and Customization

Easy customization and upgrades enable rapid adaptation to market dynamics and emerging technologies.

Energy Conservation

By reducing data movement, chiplets conserve energy, making them environmentally friendly.

Higher Yields in Manufacturing

Chiplet production offers higher yields compared to larger, monolithic chip architectures.

Integration of Diverse Functionalities

Chiplets enable the integration of various functions into unified entities, simplifying chip design.

What Is Chiplet Technology?

A chiplet represents a miniature integrated circuit (IC) with a distinct set of functions. Its purpose is to merge seamlessly with other chiplets on an interposer within a single package. The fundamental concept of chiplet technology involves disassembling a system-on-a-chip into its elemental functional components. Complex-function chips can be deconstructed into chiplets, each representing separate elements such as computational processors, graphics units, AI accelerators, I/O functions, and various other chip functionalities. A system composed of chiplets resembles an SoC on a module. In the future, the idea is that there will be interoperable, mix-and-match chiplet components sourced from various providers. The arrangement of chiplets can be likened to a versatile "Lego-like" assembly, offering numerous advantages over conventional system-on-chip designs:

  • Reusable Intellectual Property (IP): The same chiplet can be applied in different devices.
  • Heterogeneous Integration: Chiplets can be manufactured using distinct processes, materials, and nodes, each tailored for its specific function.
  • Known Good Die: Chiplets can undergo testing before assembly, thereby enhancing the yield of the final device.

When multiple chiplets collaborate within a single integrated circuit, they are often referred to as a multi-chip module, a hybrid IC, 2.5D IC, or an advanced package. These chiplets can establish connections through standards like UCIe, bunch of wires (BoW), OpenHBI, and OIF XSR.

Chiplet Technology’s Revolutionary Power: Benefits and Advantages

Chiplet-based architectures provide many advantages compared to traditional monolithic System-on-Chips (SoCs). These advantages encompass enhanced performance, reduced power consumption, and amplified design flexibility.  Many experts believe that specialized chiplets will evolve into a ubiquitous feature in consumer devices as advanced technologies continue to unfurl. 

  • Their capacity for swift and effortless customization and upgrades translates into reduced development timelines and costs. 

  • Chiplets bolster performance by employing specialized processing elements fine-tuned for specific tasks. For instance, should a need arise for robust processing power in AI applications, the traditional CPU can be swapped with a chiplet purpose-built for AI workloads.

  • Chiplets usher in the possibility of downsizing processors and curtailing power requirements. By consolidating diverse functions into unified entities, chiplets eliminate much of the need for elaborate wiring, cooling systems, and ancillary components inherent in conventional chip designs.

  • Flexibility is a hallmark of chiplet technology, allowing manufacturers to adapt swiftly to evolving market dynamics and emerging technological advancements. This adaptability hinges on the ease of customization and upgradation facilitated by chiplets, sparing manufacturers from crafting new chips for each product iteration. Instead, a mix-and-match approach can be embraced.

  • Embracing chiplet architecture by relocating memory closer to the processor's core can be powerful in tackling increasing AI workloads.

  • Creating circuits from chiplets also gives rise to significant environmental benefits, as over half of the power consumption associated with computer chips arises from the lateral movement of data across the chip. Chiplets, on the other hand, can be situated near the processing unit, leading to energy conservation.

  • On a grand scale, chiplet production offers substantially higher yields within a single manufacturing run, surpassing what larger, more intricate chip architectures can offer. 

Chiplet Technology for SoCs

Because chiplet technology is a relatively recent innovation, it is undergoing active development by several semiconductor companies. A prominent goal is to be able to combine multiple chiplets to form an SoC seamlessly. An integrated system constructed with chiplets can encompass data storage, signal processing, computing, and data flow management. Engineers can swiftly and cost-effectively craft intricate chips by assembling diverse third-party Intellectual Properties (such as I/O drivers, memory Integrated Circuits (ICs), and processor cores) into a unified chip. Chiplets can be assembled within a package and interconnected using a die-to-die interconnect framework for SoC production.  

Chiplet Technology Trends and Forecast

While conventional chipsets currently dominate the landscape of computer technology within most electronic devices, it becomes evident that this trajectory is poised for transformation as time advances. Experts anticipate the widespread adoption of specialized chiplets as advanced technologies evolve. 

Presently, the market for heterogeneous chiplet integration is experiencing rapid growth. Microprocessors by both AMD and Intel are in high-volume production, featuring chiplet designs and heterogeneous integration packaging technology.  Apple's M1 Ultra chip, introduced in March 2022. This chip employs chiplet architecture, leading to enhanced performance in Mac PCs. Currently, we find ourselves in the early stages of chiplet research and production. However, as industry standards become well-established, previously inconceivable computing models will emerge. 

Ready to harness the power of chiplet technology in your semiconductor packaging designs? Look no further than Allegro X Advanced Package Designer. Seamlessly integrate these cutting-edge components into your packaging projects and stay at the forefront of innovation. 

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