The days of the single-die system-on-chip (SoC) are numbered. Steep mask costs, and wafer prices of advanced process nodes deemed necessary to produce such SoCs, are taking a toll on the bottom line. To combat these challenges, Marvell is applying a groundbreaking approach to integrated-circuit (IC) design, called MoChi architecture.
A modular chip concept, MoChi architecture is a smart way to develop a virtual SoC (VSoC). Rather than integrating as many functions as possible into one IC, the MoChi approach focuses on splitting an SoC into cost-optimized modular chips of specific functions, that can easily and seamlessly be connected with each other without compromising the overall system performance.
Offering the separation of compute and non-compute functions, this approach provides the ability to interconnect a combination of different MoChi blocks that can “talk” to each other as if they are integrated on a single piece of silicon. The division of standard and peripheral functions from the compute functions makes the MoChi devices usable for longer periods of time for broader applications, providing significant cost savings, increased flexibility and faster time-to-market.
- Changing existing software developed for a single-chip SoC is unnecessary for customers.
- Designed to be highly flexible with point-to-point interconnect, MoChis can be daisy chained or connected in parallel to create VSoCs, enabling countless configurations.
- MoChi interconnect is a packetized and serialized extension of on-die AXI bus
- Micro-SerDes version of MoChi interconnect running at 8Gbits/second or faster balances needs of high bandwidth, low latency, low power, low cost, scalability, and ease of PCB routing.
- Reduces the risk of building new products in state-of-the-art process nodes because only a few compute functions are integrated.
- Drastically reduces the cost of developing SoC products.
The MoChi architecture enables building a variety of VSoCs cost-effectively and flexibly by interconnecting or “plugging in” a combination of different MoChis. It can be a baseline architecture for a host of applications including Internet of Things, smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, servers, notebooks, and printers as well as network-attached storage (NAS), networking SoCs and switches, and storage (HDD, SSD, hybrid) devices.