What is this chip and what are its capabilities?

Among the processors based on the RISC-V architecture replenishment. The new chip, developed by a company with employees from Intel, AMD and some other well-known electronic component manufacturers, is aimed at the corporate sector. It is made according to the 5 nm process technology, it has 192 cores. What is he capable of? About this – under the cut.

Chip Capabilities

The chip is positioned as universal – it can be used in a variety of industries, except perhaps consumer. We are talking, first of all, about servers, hosting, data centers, streaming services and all others where high performance is required.

It is worth noting that Ventana, which develops the chip, will have to work hard to take its share in the corporate niche. The fact is that there are not so many players here, but they are all quite large.

You can mention the same Amazon with its own Graviton processors. At the moment, the third generation of these chips, called Graviton 3E, is ready. They are based on the ARM architecture, which, like RISC-V, is becoming more and more popular from year to year.

There are other manufacturers of multi-core server processors, including Ampere, which we also wrote about. Nevertheless, Ventana representatives are not discouraged – the other day they showed the advantages of their own chip. According to the team, their processor outperforms the Intel Xeon 8380, AMD Epyc 7763, and Amazon Graviton 3 in a number of ways. We have to take the company’s word for now, but its representatives will soon provide more detailed information about the results of the tests.

What kind of processor is this?


The company that produced this chip started work a few years ago. She announced development on the basis of architecture RISC-V in September, 2021, and without special details. Now there are more of them.

Firstlyit is known that the chip is produced according to the 5-nm process technology.

Secondlythe top version of the chip will have 192 cores in 12 clusters (16 cores per cluster).

Thirdly, CPU frequency will be 3.9 GHz, plus it will receive 48 MB of third-level cache. Support for modern interfaces, including PCI-E5, is also promised.

It is also known that the layout structure is approximately the same as AMD’s EPYC. The Die-to-Die (D2D) interface is compatible with Harness of Wire (HoW) and Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe), which are supported by larger companies such as AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and Arm.

And what is the company?


It was founded in 2015, so the company is almost five years old. Most of the employees, as mentioned above, moved to Ventana from Intel, AMD, IBM, Samsung, ARM, Xilinx.

As for the founders, there are two of them. These are Balaji Baktha and Greg Favor. Feifor, by the way, worked in a number of companies that are associated with the development and production of processors. These are AMD, Montalvo Systems, Applied Micro Circuits Corporation and Ampere.

As for the processor itself, production and shipment will begin in mid-2023 – without specifying dates. In general, many companies at the start are inaccurate in terms of voicing product release dates.

Why RISC-V?


The developers of the chip do not explain in any way that they chose the RISC-V architecture. But here everything is clear. The point is that she

independent of US technology

. States can easily prohibit any of the companies from working with a certain architecture.

Therefore, for example, a consortium has appeared in China, whose members are studying the possibilities of developing the country’s electronics industry, taking into account being under severe US sanctions. One of the tasks of the consortium is to weaken the country’s dependence on the ARM architecture, this technology is now in charge, so to speak, of the Japanese corporation SoftBank. One of the Chinese government sources said that the active development of RISC-V technologies in the country will allow it to “follow the right path.”

The production of chips, especially modern ones, is a very interesting topic, but we also have other articles, check it out – we talk about:

→ What should be the Feature Store to optimize the work with ML-models
→ How to avoid common mistakes when working with DBMS
→ Building a Full-Mesh VPN using fastd, tinc, VpnCloud and performance testing

As for Ventana, it can be assumed that the company is going to cooperate with everyone who needs modern chips. Therefore, the company preoccupied itself with independence from external factors, at least most of them.

Perhaps the analysts who said that the share of chips based on open architecture, which are used in rapidly developing technological areas such as AI, are not mistaken, will grow even faster. Below is a graph of the growth in the volume of these destinations in billions of US dollars until 2027.

Now companies that plan to develop technologies based on open architecture have two options. The first is the creation of a team within the company that will develop technologies from scratch. The second is to license already developed technologies, releasing chips according to the design of a third party, so to speak. This third party is several companies, including SiFive from the US, Codasip from Europe, and Andes Technology from Taiwan. Representatives of the other camp are T-head, Xiangshan and ByteDance, which do everything on their own.

Ventana made a choice just to create a team within the company. Ventana is developing from scratch, so it’s likely that the company will be able to be independent for a long time.

The company will soon provide additional information regarding its chip – now there is a lack of technical data. So it remains to wait a few months, and the situation will clear up.

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