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NVIDIA: 65nm EDRAM collaboration with TSMC ( with regard to Sony PSP2 )

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by AirRaid, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. AirRaid

    AirRaid Guest

    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=39379


    NVIDIA: 65nm EDRAM collaboration with TSMC
    Some time ago, we reported that we believed NVIDIA likely had won the
    Sony PSP2 contract,
    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=37668 given that they were
    apparently working on an EDRAM design, but that none of their
    manufacturing partners (excluding Sony, at the time!) were likely
    candidates for the production of an EDRAM-based GPU. Today's news,
    however, proves us wrong: NVIDIA and TSMC have just announced
    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=39368 that they worked
    together on the development of the 65nm EDRAM process, and that NVIDIA
    has a working design based on the technology.

    While this doesn't imply that the Sony PSP2 contract has been awarded
    to a competitor, it does discard one of the key points that made them
    appear more likely to have won the contract than AMD, Toshiba or
    Imagination Technologies, among others. Still, having a design that
    makes use of embedded memory makes them more likely to be among those
    that compete for such a contract, but not much else. But overall, this
    seems to be all about NVIDIA targeting the handheld market at large
    with EDRAM-based designs, not specifically Sony or even Nintendo. And
    for all we know, maybe Sony is even designing the PSP2 GPU in-house.

    Anyway, what is that 65nm EDRAM design that NVIDIA speaks of, you may
    ask? One possibility is the GoForce 5300. NVIDIA's handheld chipset
    comparison page even points out that that it sports 2.25MiB of EDRAM.
    The page does not confirm whether the chip is manufactured on TSMC's
    65nm process or not, however, and it might just as well be based on
    TSMC's 90nm EDRAM process. This might actually be the case, given that
    TSMC claims a minimum macro size of 4Mb (512KiB) on 65nm, while
    2.25MiB would imply NVIDIA is using a 2Mb (256KiB) macro. So, the most
    likely explanations are that the design is 90nm, or that NVIDIA had
    access to the 65nm macros' contents and tweaked them to fit their
    requirements.

    It should also be noted that TSMC's new 65nm EDRAM's cell size is
    similar to IBM's. As such, the density (megabits/mm2) is likely also
    very similar, although in the trade-off of optimizing for area, power
    or performance, they both still choose different goals. Sadly, the
    exact density in terms of megabits per mm² is unknown at this time.
    IBM decided to focus on performance, in order to be able to use that
    EDRAM to replace their CPUs' current SRAM caches, especially so for a
    L3-level cache. NVIDIA and TSMC, on the other hand, apparently chose
    to optimize the EDRAM for power consumption. This makes sense as GPUs
    are much more latency tolerant than CPUs, and the process is currently
    targeted at handheld devices.

    UPDATE: Andrew Humber of NVIDIA contributed some official information
    on the GoForce 5300 and GoForce 6100
    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showpost.php?p=942884&postcount=11
     
    AirRaid, Mar 24, 2007
    #1
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