Samsung Tapped for Production of AI Chips for Baidu

Chinese company Baidu has tapped Samsung for the production of cloud-based AI accelerator KUNLUN. KUNLUN, based on Baidu’s XPU architecture, is set to enter mass production by early 2020 and will be built upon Samsung’s 14nm node.

Baidu KUNLUN – Cloud-to-Edge AI Accelerator

Baidu’s first cloud-to-edge AI accelerator, KUNLUN, has completed the design phase and is moving to the production phase with Samsung being tapped for its 14nm node and Interposer Cube (I-Cube) technology. KUNLUN will be equipped with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) with a memory bandwidth of 512GB/s and will achieve 260 TOPS at 150W.

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In natural language processing, KUNLUN is estimated to provide an increase of three times over existing GPU and FPGA solutions. With KUNLUN, Baidu aims to provide various advanced AI features such as search ranking, speech recognition, image processing, natural language processing, autonomous driving, and deep learning. Ouyang Jian, an architect at Baidu, explains the significance between Baidu and Samsung’s partnership.

We are excited to lead the HPC industry together with Samsung Foundry. Baidu KUNLUN is a very challenging project since it requires not only a high level of reliability and performance at the same time, but is also a compilation of the most advanced technologies in the semiconductor industry. Thanks to Samsung’s state of the art process technologies and competent foundry services, we were able to meet and surpass our goal to offer superior AI user experience.

Baidu KUNLUN AI Accelerator

Baidu’s cooperation with Samsung has opened the door to Samsung’s I-Cube technology, a technology that enables an interconnect solution in the form of an interposer between a logic device and memory such as HBM or HBM2. By opting for Samsung’s interconnect solution, higher density and increased minimum bandwidth of the chip is achievable.

This design offers improvements upwards of 50% in terms of power to signal integrity. Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung:

We are excited to start a new foundry service for Baidu using our 14 nm process technology. Baidu KUNLUN is an important milestone for Samsung Foundry as we’re expanding our business area beyond mobile to datacenter applications by developing and mass-producing AI chips. Samsung will provide comprehensive foundry solutions from design support to cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, such as 5LPE, 4LPE, as well as 2.5D packaging.


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