Graphcore announced the launch of a new AI processor called Bow IPU, which is its third-generation IPU. Graphcore said the AI processor will power the next-generation Bow Pod AI computer system, delivering a 40 percent performance boost and a 16 percent increase in energy efficiency over older systems.
The most special feature of Bow IPU is that it is the world’s first 3D Wafer-on-Wafer (WoW) processor, manufactured by TSMC. Graphcore worked closely with TSMC on the design and manufacture of the Bow IPU. It is manufactured using a 7nm process and then combines two chips into one through 3D stacking technology, thereby achieving improved performance and energy efficiency. The appearance of Bow IPU has proved the feasibility of transferring the improvement of chip performance from advanced technology to advanced packaging. In the future, TSMC will also provide similar technology to other customers, and 3D manufacturing technology will gradually become popular on consumer chips.
According to Graphcore, the Bow IPU has 1,472 independent processor cores, capable of running more than 8,800 threads, with 900MB of In-Processor Memory, and a second wafer with a power delivery die. It can achieve 350 TeraFLOPS artificial intelligence computing performance. In order to achieve 3D stacking, the new chip has added nearly 600 million transistors, in addition to increasing throughput, it also optimizes the power structure.
The U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is one of the first customers to use Bow IPUs to improve performance and efficiency for applications such as chemical computing and cybersecurity. “At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, we are pushing the boundaries of machine learning and graph neural networks to tackle scientific problems that have been intractable with existing technology,” said Sutanay Choudhury, deputy director of PNNL’s Computational and Theoretical Chemistry Institute.