AMD Teams Up With Intel in CXL Interconnect Consortium

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AMD on Thursday announced it has joined the Compute Express Link (CXL) consortium, the consortium for the PCIe 5.0-based cache-coherent interconnect, whose 1.0 specification Intel released in March with eight other founding members.

AMD is also a member of CCIX, Gen-Z and OpenCAPI.

In a blog post, Mark Papermaster, CTO and EVP of technology and engineering at AMD, said: “As a long-standing supporter of open standards, we’re excited to join CXL and the possibilities presented as we work with other ecosystem leaders to address challenges we face as an industry.”

With the addition of AMD, the CXL site now shows 55 public members of the consortium. Some of the most notable ones besides AMD include Alibaba, Broadcom, Cisco, Dell EMC, Facebook, Google, Mellanox (acquired by Nvidia), Microsoft, Western Digital and SK Hynix. Most surprising, perhaps, is the membership of Arm, which has its own CCIX interconnect.

With AMD being the 55th public member after roughly four months, this represents the fastest growth among the interconnect fabrics. It indicates that CXL is seeing strong adoption, at least on paper. This equals the member count of CCIX, which was announced in 2016. The Gen-Z consortium is still a bit ahead, listing 70 companies as member. However, it should be noted that not all companies might have publicly announced their membership. At least for CXL, Serve The Home noted in early May that 38 members were announced, but in fact had 57 members at the time. The 1.0 Specification of CCIX and Gen-Z were released in the first half of 2018. CCIX had 22 members after six months, while it took Gen-Z a year to reach nearly 50 members.

Intel announced CXL in March as its open cache-coherent interconnect, using the PCIe 5.0 physical link. The first announced product to support CXL was Intel’s Agilex FPGA. A few days ago, WikiChip's David Schor tweeted that start-up Ayar Labs, (which is also a CXL member), was collaborating with Intel to integrate its photonics chiplets with Agilex.

The consortium has also made available a Specification 1.1 Evaluation Copy.