Despite the downturn of events around the world, TSMC is witnessing a significant increase in demand for its Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) packaging, according to DigiTimes' unnamed industry sources. The Taiwanese silicon manufacturer is purportedly running its CoWoS production lines at full capacity.
CoWoS as is a 2.5D method of packaging multiple individual dies side-by-side on a single silicon interposer. The benefits are the ability to increase the density in small devices as you run into the limits of how big individual dies can be produced, better interconnectivity between dies and lower power consumption.
According to DigiTimes, AMD, Nvidia, HiSilicon, Xilinx and Broadcom have placed orders for the tech, with demand for high-performance computing chips, high bandwidth memory (HBM)-powered AI accelerators and ASICs during the past two weeks.
Examples of CoWoS packaged silicon are AMD's Vega VII graphics cards, as well as Nvidia's V100 cards, which have HBM on the same silicon interposer where the GPU is. With the GPU and memory so close together, memory bandwidth is significantly higher on these chips compared to those using GDDR6 memory located elsewhere on the graphics card's PCB. Additionally, the PCB becomes much smaller.
Last month, TSMC announced its new CoWoS tech that packs a whopping 1700mm-squared of silicon onto a single interposer. With this change, the interconnect bandwidth was also increased to a staggering 2.7 TBps, which is a 2.7 times increase over TSMC's 2016 technology.
Keep in mind that this tech doesn't come cheap and remains a high-end solution for product manufacturing. It is unlikely to come to best graphics cards targeting consumers market anytime soon but does offer a glimpse of where the technology is going.