Just in time for the Prop3 :D

evanhevanh Posts: 7,872
edited 2019-04-24 - 06:34:04 in Propeller 2
GlobalFoundries and ON Semiconductor on Monday signed a definitive agreement for the latter to buy GlobalFoundries’ 300-mm fab in East Fishkill, New York.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/14254/globalfoundries-to-sell-300mm-new-york-fab-to-on-semiconductor
GlobalFoundries first received Fab 10 as part of its acquisition of IBM's microelectronics assets in 2015. The fab is used to process 300-mm wafers using various technologies, including 45nm and 65 nm technology nodes (as well as their 40 nm and 55 nm versions).
"We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."

Comments

  • Nice article. The fab can do 14nm apparently.
    P3 here we come ;)
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
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  • I've asked Wendy if she'll be working in this process. Sounds like ON is getting some new engineers from the foundry.
  • Hi,

    IMHO, the 90nm would be the next logic step. We could fit 16 cogs and smart pins in a smaller die, or that plus larger memory in an equivalent sized die. In a few years, 90nm could be as affordable as 180nm is now. It is no longer considered leading edge.

    Kind regards, Samuel Lourenço
  • samuell wrote: »
    Hi,

    IMHO, the 90nm would be the next logic step. We could fit 16 cogs and smart pins in a smaller die, or that plus larger memory in an equivalent sized die. In a few years, 90nm could be as affordable as 180nm is now. It is no longer considered leading edge.

    Kind regards, Samuel Lourenço

    That would be more of a P2+, not a P3, even so, it would be a huge step forward.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • What you really want is a multi-layered die. CPUs on the bottom and RAM on top!
    If OnSemi can do that then you don't need the cost of processes below 90nm.
    This is currently being done by the SkyWater foundary.

    I posted an article about this before.

    Discussion link:
    http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/comment/1446896#Comment_1446896

    Article link:
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/processors/the-foundry-at-the-heart-of-darpas-plan-to-let-old-fabs-beat-new-ones

    j
  • I think part of what keeps the price down for the Prop2 is it's using minimum number of masks, ie: That's why there is no Flash memory on die.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,913
    evanh wrote: »
    I think part of what keeps the price down for the Prop2 is it's using minimum number of masks, ie: That's why there is no Flash memory on die.
    Yes, but above a modest MHz, flash becomes a bottleneck.
    That's why 'RAM based' MCUs are becoming more common, and why Analog devices dropped their Flash DSP some years back.
    P2 executing from flash, would be much slower, (and draw more power)
  • samuellsamuell Posts: 405
    edited 2019-05-15 - 15:34:04
    jmg wrote: »
    evanh wrote: »
    I think part of what keeps the price down for the Prop2 is it's using minimum number of masks, ie: That's why there is no Flash memory on die.
    Yes, but above a modest MHz, flash becomes a bottleneck.
    That's why 'RAM based' MCUs are becoming more common, and why Analog devices dropped their Flash DSP some years back.
    P2 executing from flash, would be much slower, (and draw more power)
    Not to mention write/erase cycles taking their toll on the flash memory during execution. Integrated flash, IMHO, is bad enough even if it is only used to store the program, let alone being used as RAM. Flash has its purpose, of course, but outside of the P2 silicon, on another die, on a separate IC package.

    Kind regards, Samuel Lourenço
  • No-one uses Flash as a RAM substitute. It's classed a ROM, alongside EEPROM, when not packaged as an SSD.

    My comment was in regard to the many calls, me not included, to have Flash added to the Prop2 as a designed in feature. I was explaining the most likely reason why Chip never even entertained having Flash. I'm not sure if Chip has ever said anything on the matter.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • evanh wrote: »
    No-one uses Flash as a RAM substitute. It's classed a ROM, alongside EEPROM, when not packaged as an SSD.

    My comment was in regard to the many calls, me not included, to have Flash added to the Prop2 as a designed in feature. I was explaining the most likely reason why Chip never even entertained having Flash. I'm not sure if Chip has ever said anything on the matter.

    It just always seemed better to keep the eeprom/flash complexity out of the chip design. Commodity memory is super-cheap and low-pin-count, anyway.
  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,913
    cgracey wrote: »
    evanh wrote: »
    No-one uses Flash as a RAM substitute. It's classed a ROM, alongside EEPROM, when not packaged as an SSD.

    My comment was in regard to the many calls, me not included, to have Flash added to the Prop2 as a designed in feature. I was explaining the most likely reason why Chip never even entertained having Flash. I'm not sure if Chip has ever said anything on the matter.

    It just always seemed better to keep the eeprom/flash complexity out of the chip design. Commodity memory is super-cheap and low-pin-count, anyway.

    Makes sense, as P2 is cheaper and faster as a result.

    Did you ever discuss a two die package option with OnSemi, where they bond the SPI memory internally ?

    On the topic of packages, are OnSemi able to do a BGA version (flip-chip?) of P2, using the current die, or does BGA need a different PAD scheme ?
  • jmg wrote: »
    cgracey wrote: »
    evanh wrote: »
    No-one uses Flash as a RAM substitute. It's classed a ROM, alongside EEPROM, when not packaged as an SSD.

    My comment was in regard to the many calls, me not included, to have Flash added to the Prop2 as a designed in feature. I was explaining the most likely reason why Chip never even entertained having Flash. I'm not sure if Chip has ever said anything on the matter.

    It just always seemed better to keep the eeprom/flash complexity out of the chip design. Commodity memory is super-cheap and low-pin-count, anyway.

    Makes sense, as P2 is cheaper and faster as a result.

    Did you ever discuss a two die package option with OnSemi, where they bond the SPI memory internally ?

    On the topic of packages, are OnSemi able to do a BGA version (flip-chip?) of P2, using the current die, or does BGA need a different PAD scheme ?

    They build two-metal-layer interposer dies in their 500nm process for this purpose. They are really cheap, like 5 cents. These interposers can be used to connect multiple dies together or for BGA packages, too, I believe.
  • cgracey wrote: »
    It just always seemed better to keep the eeprom/flash complexity out of the chip design. Commodity memory is super-cheap and low-pin-count, anyway.
    I know it's not even available to you right now but does the idea of MRAM performing as hubRAM have your interest at all?

    Unlike Flash, MRAM is a RAM so can directly be main memory. But it comes with more masks, more processing steps, more complexity in handling what will likely be more cell latency too. The big win over SRAM is capacity, MRAM is a lot denser than SRAM. It's worth going to extra design effort to get more hubRAM on the same size die.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • evanh wrote: »
    cgracey wrote: »
    It just always seemed better to keep the eeprom/flash complexity out of the chip design. Commodity memory is super-cheap and low-pin-count, anyway.
    I know it's not even available to you right now but does the idea of MRAM performing as hubRAM have your interest at all?

    Unlike Flash, MRAM is a RAM so can directly be main memory. But it comes with more masks, more processing steps, more complexity in handling what will likely be more cell latency too. The big win over SRAM is capacity, MRAM is a lot denser than SRAM. It's worth going to extra design effort to get more hubRAM on the same size die.

    Doesn't MRAM have a read limitation, not just a write limitation?
  • The P2 design has a fundamental hub address limit of 20 bits, so 1MB.
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,913
    cgracey wrote: »
    Doesn't MRAM have a read limitation, not just a write limitation?
    Usually, yes, and they are also not that fast. So you probably cannot eliminate RAM.


  • WRT hubexec, hubRAM already has huge latency. A little more isn't going to be all that big a deal. And MRAM is not a final fixed structure yet either. Also, there is still more R&D happening so one can assume future variants will be faster and/or lower power, even at same process node.

    Cluso,
    That can be adjusted as needed. Obviously needs a change to instructions. We're talking Prop3 territory.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • cgracey wrote: »
    Doesn't MRAM have a read limitation, not just a write limitation?
    It's pretty close to SRAM on both read and write speed. However, pushing to those fastest writes are problematic in that the current required goes up a lot and there is potential for injection to neighbouring cell I think. Should improve in future.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • Half speed writes might be an acceptable trade-off.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • Chip,
    When you say limitation, are you meaning a wearing lifetime? You may be thinking of FRAM. It wears out on both reads and writes. Its reads are destructive so requires rewritten. It can handle lots more cycles than Flash but eventually it will die from use. Not so for MRAM.

    On datasheets, you will see a estimated cycle lifetime figure given for MRAM but you'll also find the same for SRAM and DRAM now too. As far as I can tell this figure is just an **** covering exercise for all RAM types. Or at least it's no more than slapping on an expected life of CMOS based on all the various ways any chip can be damaged mechanically or electrically.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 15,397
    edited 2019-05-16 - 11:11:26
    As feature size has shrunk, more random errors are being seen in DRAM and to a lesser extent SRAM.
    Newer SRAMs (reduced feature size) with internal ECC are becoming more common. This of course adds to actual size as 12 bits are used to support 8 real bits.

    Many/most servers are now sporting ECC DRAMs. And while most PC Workstations do not support ECC DRAMs, there is more evidence showing that workstations should really be using ECC DRAMs too.

    IMHO the rowhammer effect is confirmation that reduced feature size is now compromising the integrity of DRAM.
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • Random or induced errors is an independent issue. There is no damage to the cell.

    Wear factor, aka endurance, is permanent damage. It would be alarm bells if ECC was having to prop that up. Wear levelling in SSDs is a mitigation for wear factor.

    Endurance gets used for both I've noticed. It's certainly annoying when searching the term to find one article talks about cell damage rate while another article talks about bit error rate and then a Wikipedia article mix the two together with no apparent distinction.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • Evanh, I was thinking about bit cells wearing out from both read and write operations. It was FRAM that had me thinking this, but I was misconstruing it with MRAM.

    If we went to a 28nm process, that would afford an easy 16MB of hub SRAM. Cog SRAM could quadruple, too, if we went from 32 to 36 bits. 64 bits would seem the next logical step, but something just a bit bigger than 32 would allow a nice fit for everything.
  • Yeah, but that's only an option if sales volumes permit a big spend. I'm trying to imagine what might be possible on a budget similar to what you've used for the Prop2. I would expect 130 nm to be in that ball-park in the not too distant future.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
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