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AMD Patents Multi-Chip Design GPU with Configurable Multi-Mode Capabilities

kyojuro 2024/6/18

With the increasing complexity of chip design and the rising cost of advanced processes, many chip companies have turned to multi-chip design to overcome the limitations of single-chip design. AMD stands out as one of the pioneering companies in this area, having already employed multi-chip designs for its CPUs and GPUs, and openly endorsing this approach as the way forward.

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According to TomsHardware, a newly discovered AMD patent filed on December 8, 2022, reveals that AMD is working on developing smaller chips for a wider range of application scenarios while also focusing on creating more complex multi-chip modular GPUs.

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In the current RDNA 3 architecture, AMD implements the primary function of the GPU through the Graphics Computation Unit (GCD) and uses multiple Multi-Chip Modules (MCDs) to handle the video memory interface and cache. In contrast, the new patent introduces a design that splits the GPU into multiple smaller chips, which can be configured to function either as a single GPU or as multiple GPUs working in tandem.

According to the patent documentation, these GPU mini-chips can operate in three modes:

Single GPU Mode: All GPU chips work as a single, unified GPU, sharing resources and collaborating on tasks. A single front-end chip typically manages the scheduling of instructions for all shader engine chips within the GPU, operating similarly to traditional GPUs.

Multiple GPU Mode: The GPU chips are divided into different groups, each functioning as a separate GPU. Each group has its own front-end chip responsible for task scheduling for its respective shader engine chip.

Mixed Configuration Mode: This flexible configuration allows some GPU chips to operate as a single GPU while others run as independent GPUs.

Based on the patent description, this technology bears similarity to the CDNA family of architectures used in data center GPUs. However, given AMD's history, it is plausible that this technology will eventually extend to consumer products.

AMD's new patent highlights its deep expertise and innovation in multi-chip design, indicating that future AMD GPU products will offer greater flexibility and adaptability to meet diverse application needs.

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