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Tenstorrent Scores Big Design Win With Japan’s LTSC To Enable Leading-Edge 2nm AI Accelerator

Japan’s Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center, or LSTC, was established in late 2022 and is tasked with advancing the country’s research and innovation in areas such as nanotechnology, chip manufacturing, semiconductor materials research, and artificial intelligence. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approved outsourcing of this research, and it was recently announced that Japan would spend upwards of ¥45 billion ($300 million) to back the LTSC and adjacent organizations in its efforts, with the ultimate goal of strengthening Japan’s competitiveness in the semiconductor industry today and into the future.

In an announcement made yesterday, the LSTC, in conjunction with Tenstorrent and Rapidus Corporation, revealed a multi-tiered partnership to license and leverage Tenstorrent’s leading RISC-V technologies and chiplet IP for LTSC’s planned 2nm AI Accelerator for the edge. In addition to the IP licensing part of the agreement, Tenstorrent will also collaborate with LSTC to help co-design the chip.

Tenstorrent Offers Chips And Innovation IP Licensing

“The joint effort by Tenstorrent and LSTC to create a chiplet-based edge AI accelerator represents a groundbreaking venture into the first cross-organizational chiplet development in semiconductor industry,” said Wei-Han Lien, Chief Architect of Tenstorrent’s RISC-V products. “The edge AI accelerator will incorporate LSTC’s AI chiplet along with Tenstorrent’s RISC-V and peripheral chiplet technology. This pioneering strategy harnesses the collective capabilities of both organizations to use the adaptable and efficient nature of chiplet technology to meet the increasing needs of AI applications at the edge.”

The forthcoming AI Accelerator will feature Tenstorrent’s Ascalon RISC-V CPU core and peripheral technologies. Tenstorrent’s IP will be used to co-develop a RISC-V CPU chiplet, which will ultimately be a part of LSTC’s upcoming edge AI accelerator. The chip will feature Tenstorrent CPU and peripheral IP, paired to LSTC’s AI chiplet.

The Collaboration Includes Tenstorrent, LSTC And Rapidus

Tenstorrent will also be working with Rapidus Corporation, a fledgling Japanese semiconductor company developing bleeding-edge semiconductor technologies, on the project. Rapidus will be tasked with wafer processing and advanced packaging to manufacture the chip. To further support the project (and other customers), Tenstorrent plans to open a high performance compute design center in Japan as well.

The pandemic and subsequent supply chain shortages have awakened the semiconductor industry to the need for more robust, diverse array of suppliers and manufacturers. It’s part of the reason for the Chips Act here in the US and why the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approved such a large investment in Japan to advance its semiconductor industry and AI initiatives. The selection of Tenstorrent by Japan’s Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center is a strong vote of confidence for Tenstorrent’s technology and business model, and I suspect it’s there will be many more partnerships like this to come for the company.

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