Dave Ditzel, founder and CEO of Esperanto, described the work with UltaSoC as collaborative design. "Esperanto’s goal is to make RISC-V the architecture of choice for the most demanding AI and machine learning applications," he added in a statement. "Developing and debugging software utilizing thousands of RISC-V cores will be easier with the advanced analytics that UltraSoC's IP will provide."
It remains unclear when the superchip will emerge from Esperanto or whether it will make use of extreme ultraviolet lithography. "We haven't announced which [7nm] process we're on at TSMC," Ditzel told eeNews Europe in an interview.
It is thought that TSMC's earliest users of 7nm will forego EUV lithography. A second generation of 7nm will attempt to speed production, reduce cost and improve yield by replacing some key quad-patterned immersion layers with EUV lithography layers.
"TSMC is in production with 7nm and there are lots of design tape outs. Exactly which variant of 7nm we will use will be announced." Similarly, Ditzel said Esperanto, founded in 2014, has not announced a timetable for the delivery of its 4k chip to customers. "We're still in the design process and we've been at it for a couple of years," he said.
"We're targeting the datacentre for large scale deployment of machine learning applications. But the solution fits in with desktop and tablet computers. Smartphones are not the target for the first chip but the basic architecture is applicable to cell phones and we are also licensing our technology," Ditzel said.
This holds out the intriguing prospect down the line of Esparanto processing fabric being licensed into smartphone application processors. But for now Esperanto is aiming high.
Next: Flagship chip for RISC-V