The world's largest chip: 2.6 trillion transistors and 850,000 cores

Cerebras has the world's largest chip: 2.6 trillion transistors -- that's 2,600,000,000,000 -- with 850,000 cores on TSMC 7nm.

@anthony256
Published Wed, Aug 19 2020 10:28 PM CDT

Cerebras has just unveiled the world's largest chip, which packs a mind boggling 2.6 trillion transistors and 850,000 cores.

The world's largest chip: 2.6 trillion transistors and 850,000 cores 01 | TweakTown.com
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The new Wafer Scale Engine (WSE) was unveiled at Hot Chips 2020, with Cerebras using TSMC's new 7nm process to cram the 850,000 cores onto the 2.6 trillion transistors. The previous-gen WSE had 1.2 trillion transistors, 400,000 cores, 18GB of on-chip memory, 9PB/sec memory banwidth, and 100Pb/s of total fabric bandwidth that consumed a total of 15kW of power.

How does this work? The Wafer Scale Engine magic is because instead of making the chip into a traditional monolithic processor die, Cerebras instead stitches the processor dies together with a communication fabric -- letting the many, many chips act as one unit.

The world's largest chip: 2.6 trillion transistors and 850,000 cores 02 | TweakTown.com

If you want to compare this against the largest GPU in the world, that would be NVIDIA's new Ampere-based A100 which has 54.2 billion transistors. 54.2 billion transistors versus 2.6 trillion... that's just 0.45 trillion transistors in comparison between Cerebras and NVIDIA.

The world's largest chip: 2.6 trillion transistors and 850,000 cores 03 | TweakTown.com
The world's largest chip: 2.6 trillion transistors and 850,000 cores 04 | TweakTown.com

Cooling something like that isn't easy, so Cerebras used a pretty elaborate power delivery and cooling system to keep the original chips cool. We should expect a huge upgrade in the power delivery and cooling on the next-gen chip, even though there will be some major benefits moving from 16nm to 7nm.

The only question I have is: can it run Crysis?

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Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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