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The ODSA Workshop: Starting off the New Year With an Important Milestone

By Bapi Vinnakota | Jan 03, 2019
January is a big month for the Open Domain-Specific Accelerator Workgroup (ODSA) effort, and it all starts off with the first workshop at the end of January. In addition to a brief status update, the workshop will focus on three big goals in 2019:

  • ODSA Prototype: Build a multi-chiplet prototype with current components
  • Technical Standards: Define an open standard architectural interface for the components in the ODSA
  • Business Issues: Define a workflow to make commercial assembly of products based on chiplets easier
The workshop will also identify an appropriate open organization, such as the Open Compute Project (OCP), with which the ODSA Workgroup’s goals can be achieved.

A brief review of the progress on the ODSA in Q4 2018 will set the stage for a productive workshop. Chiplets have recently received a substantial amount of attention as a promising approach to reduce the cost of silicon development. Chiplet-based development also reduces the time needed to develop products.

The ODSA Workgroup is working toward an open multi-chiplet architecture. Multi-chiplet architectures aim to make multiple chiplets-based products to be as performant as a single large chip design. To support this objective, inter-chiplet communication protocol standards have received a lot of attention. But, most interest has been focused on the PHY layer. 

A complete product requires an architectural interface between chiplets. Almost all multi-chiplet products have been built using chiplets from the same company using company-proprietary architectural interfaces. The ODSA Workgroup aims to develop an open architectural interface. With an open interface, products can be developed by choosing best-of-breed chiplets for specific functions.

The ODSA Workgroup was announced at the Linley Fall Processor conference by a group of seven companies. A companion blog post went into some detail on the motivation for the ODSA. The ODSA Workgroup grew in size and a larger set of contributors developed a detailed white paper that discussed the motivation for the ODSA, identified significant technical and business opens and developed a reference architecture. Finally, to cap the quarter, we had a well-received Heavy Reading webinar and white paper discussing the ODSA.

To build on this progress and momentum , the ODSA Workgroup will hold a workshop on January 29, 2019. The aim of the workshop is to address and make progress on the opens identified in the white paper. We anticipate attendees at the workshop to come to the table and contribute meaningfully to the 2019 goals.