Cerebras WSE-2: the largest processor in the world embeds 2,600 billion transistors

2,600 billion transistors, 40 GB of integrated RAM, a bandwidth of 20 Pb / s and a unit price of several million euros: the WSE-2 from Cerebras is a monster, the largest and most powerful chip in the world. world. Succeeding the WSE-1 we had told you about several times, the second iteration of the largest processor that can be put on a single wafer is breaking all records.

Dedicated to intensive computing linked to AI, this 46,225 mm² processor takes full advantage of improvements in engraving fineness: the switch from 16 nm to 7 nm has made it possible to multiply everything by 2.2: the density of transistors – 56.246 millions per square millimeter – and in the process the number of cores (850,000 against 400,000 in the past), or even internal and external bandwidth.

Unique in its approach, – a silicon wafer for a single processor – Cerebras claims an efficiency of 100%. How is it possible ? Simply because the chosen TSMC 7nm process is now very mature and because the chip is designed to handle small internal defects. The previous chip already integrated 1.5% more cores to overcome any defects and the WSE-2 does the same.

The figures of the WSE-2 are also dizzy on the installation side: the monster does not mount in a BeQuiet ATX tower from your favorite dealer. No, he needs a system called CS-2. A machine the size of a 15U rack, with 12 100 Gbit network connections, plus twelve 4000W power supplies – six for running and six for backup, thanks for the redundancy. All water cooled with a custom internal circuit.

If it is big compared to your gaming PC, the CS-2 which integrates the WSE-2 is nevertheless incredibly more compact than a supercomputer of several tens of racks that it can replace. And by integrating both RAM and cores in a single chip, it avoids incessant data back and forth, allowing it (on paper) to deliver a power ratio unmatched in its field.

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Power that pays off: depending on the contracts, CS-1 cost 2 to 3 million euros and this second version twice as powerful will cost “several million euros”. An exceptional processor and machine intended for research, industry and defense. But maybe a malicious programmer will show us how he gets to run Doom on it …

Source : Anandtech

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