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5G and Interconnect Are Pushing Innovations in Wireless

Packaging and interconnect are critical to achieving wireless systems that perform "better than wired"...

www.eetasia.com, Nov. 05, 2020 – 

Gary Hilson recently offered insight into the memory requirements of AI hardware. As products move toward tighter integration of memory and AI processors through advanced packaging and interconnect techniques, we are again thinking about chiplets. For processor to memory, there is less system diversity, and industry standard communication interfaces are expected, but there are challenges and limitations nonetheless. These limits will provide the roadmaps for AI and HPC, and more work is needed to optimize the trade-offs between memory density, data exchange bandwidth and power consumption. But more of the heterogeneous – i.e. more functional diversity – is related to networking, 5G and IoT.

Although we are on the cusp of the big AI revolution and the HPC memory challenges it entails, the unwired generation has only just begun. We often think of the wireless revolution starting so long ago that it must be over by now. First we had the wireless LAN connection for our clunky old laptops (that no one really wanted to haul very far from the Ethernet connection anyway). Many early-century technologies followed. Some we are just learning to live with. Bluetooth gave us wireless keyboards, mice and headphones as well as speakerphone connections for our vehicles. Don't get me wrong. These are all worthwhile conveniences, especially now that the connections tend to be a little less troublesome than they were in the early days. But these were all means of separating regular consumers from their cash for a little extra convenience. There was never an ROI calculation.

The RAN chairman of 3GPP noted that 5G for factory automation would have to be "better than wires." He was speaking of performance, and they working groups developing wireless specs will make sure that happens. The flexibility, ease of adaptation and ROI compared to hardwiring probably offer enough value to changeover or at the very least 5G implementation for new builds.

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