One of the highlights of Hot Chips from 2019 was the startup Cerebras showcasing its product – a large ‘wafer-scale’ AI chip that was literally the size of a wafer. The chip itself was rectangular, but it was cut from a single wafer, and contained 400,000 cores, 1.2 trillion transistors, 46225 mm2 of silicon, and was built on TSMC’s 16 nm process.

The whole thing created a very big buzz, and later that year the company showed of the first system, CS-1, which is a 15U unit in order to power a single chip. Power consumption was in the 15 kW range, and the unit cost a few million. They are already being deployed by research institutions.

Initially Cerebras was set to announce its 2nd generation product here at Hot Chips this year, however the time-scale didn’t align exactly, so the company is instead going through its software procedures. But at the end of the slide deck, there’s a special slide with some details about the next generation.

Obviously when doing wafer scale, you can’t just add more die area, so the only way is to optimize die area per core and take advantage of smaller process nodes. That means for TSMC 7nm, there are now 850,000 cores and 2.6 trillion transistors. Cerebras has had to develop new technologies to deal with multi-reticle designs, but they succeeded with the first gen, and transferred the learnings to the new chip. We’re expecting more details about this new product later this year.

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  • close - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Campaign started. Sock puppet accounts everywhere. Dime a dozen. Unfortunately AT has an antiquated comment section from before report buttons and such were invented, when ARPANET was all a very trusted place. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    I love commenters who randomly change the topic to Trump. It's even better when they try to claim that Obama did all the things that Trump is actually doing in real time at this specific moment. It's better still when they appear to be having an argument with an imaginary frienemy. It's the absolute best, though, when they go on to claim that Trump is curing the world of AIDS with his magical unicorn farts. It tickles me.

    Thanks, TheJian, for being today's Clown Of The Hour.
    Reply
  • vladx - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Nice propaganda piece. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    with any luck, Biden will just release all the NSA and CIA intercepts of Trump, et al chit chatting with Putin and his friends. Reply
  • dotjaz - Thursday, August 20, 2020 - link

    Stupid? Reply
  • dotjaz - Thursday, August 20, 2020 - link

    US is an international laughing stock now more than ever, each year for the past four years it's getting worse and worse. I'm rooting for Trump to win. BTW. I'd be glad to see him succeed in what he's been doing. Better for the rest of the world. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - link

    >15U unit in order to power a single chip. Power consumption was in the 15 kW range

    For us pathetic cooling clowns apparently, can we get a peak inside this montronsity? Is it some fanatical integrated-air-conditioner or just a massive cold-plate and plumbing-sized water cooling?

    OK, answered my own question: liquid cooling. They call the power & cooling systems as the "Engine Block", appropriately.

    https://i.imgur.com/5RHugOv.png
    Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - link

    "The CS-1 is an internally water-cooled system. Like a giant gaming PC on steroids, the CS-1 uses water to cool the WSE, and then uses air to cool the water. Water circulates through a closed loop internal to the system.

    Two hot-swappable pumps on the top right move water through a manifold across the back of the WSE, cooling the wafer and warming the water. Warm water is then pumped into a heat exchanger. This heat exchanger presents a large surface area for the cold air blown in by the four hot-swappable fans at the bottom of the CS-1. The fans move air from the cold aisle, cool the warm water via the heat exchanger, and exhaust the warm air into the warm aisle."

    https://www.cerebras.net/product/#explorer-3
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - link

    ah, com'n. this is kiddie kooling. big boy cooling uses full immersion in inert liquid. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Ooooh. Chonky! Reply

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