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Nvidia Tackles Chipmaking Process, Claims 40X Speed Up with cuLitho

Intel Mask – For illustration purposes only. (Image credit: Intel)

At GTC 2023, Nvidia unveiled a new cuLitho software library that accelerates critical bottlenecks in semiconductor manufacturing workflows. The new library accelerates computational lithography, a technique used to create photomasks for chip manufacturing. With its new approach, Nvidia claims that 500 DGX H100 systems with 4,000 hopper GPUs can do the same amount of work as a 40,000 CPU-based server, but 40 times faster and in 9 minutes. It can run at 1 power. Nvidia claims this cuts the computer lithography workload to create a photomask from weeks to eight hours.

Chip manufacturing leaders TSMC, ASML, and Synopsys have all signed on to the new technology, and Synopys has already integrated it into its software design tools. Nvidia expects this new approach to enable higher chip densities and yields, improved design rules, and AI-powered lithography.

Scientists at Nvidia have created new algorithms that allow increasingly complex computational lithography workflows to run in parallel on GPUs, showing a 40x speedup using Hopper GPUs. New algorithms are integrated into the new cuLitho acceleration library and can be integrated into the mask maker’s software (usually foundries or chip designers). The cuLitho acceleration library is also compatible with Ampere and Volta GPUs, but Hopper is naturally the faster solution. Ultimately, Nvidia claims this will allow 500 DGX H100 systems with 4,000 hopper GPUs combined to do the work of his 40,000 servers using CPUs to process the workload. .


(Image credit: Intel)

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