ARM, Qualcomm, AMD, and more announce CCIX

The new SoC interface for accelerators and cards is here

CCIX logoARM, Qualcomm, AMD, Xilinx, Huawei, IBM, Mellanox, and Xilinx all agree on CCIX interconnects. In a not coincidental announcement today, the seven vendors also revealed the CCIX consortium consisting of seven members.

If you are confused about CCIX, so were we until we read the public blurb about the spec. Then we noticed the name, CCIX which has a lot in common with ARM’s CCI-550 interconnect.If X=550, we have an exact match but that would be asking too much math of a simple press release. In any case you can guess the DNA of CCIX from the name.

CCIX block diagram

Here is the obligatory vague block diagram

Leaving aside the fluffy talk of making the world a better place through 5G connected pipe cleaners or whatnot, what does CCIX bring to the table? The short version is it is an on- or off-package coherent interconnect for adding accelerators to an SoC. It is said to be, “[b]oth off-load and bump-in-the-wire inline application acceleration” meaning it can be an end point or twiddle bits that pass through it.

CCIX will allow coherent for coherent MCM packages and/or external cards, although I wouldn’t want to see the latency numbers on a fully coherent external card sitting in a slot 10+cm away from the SoC. That said if you want to add a NIC or a GPU to your existing SoC, CCIX will allow it.

From the consumer point of view, CCIX will allow ARM based devices to become more PC-like in their functionality. You will be able to add external storage, networking, displays, and all the like in a known form factor, add-in cards. In short you can now make a real, expandable ARM PC, not just a tinny laptop. When CCIX bearing SoCs hit the market it will change the game.

Note: The following is analysis for professional level subscribers only.

Disclosures: Charlie Demerjian and Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. have no consulting relationships, investment relationships, or hold any investment positions with any of the companies mentioned in this report.

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate