Supply Chain Aware Computer Architecture

Georgios Tziantzioulis, August Ning, David Wentzlaff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Progressively and increasingly, our society has become more and more dependent on semiconductors and semiconductor-enabled products and services. The importance of chips and their supply chains has been highlighted during the 2020-present chip shortage caused by manufacturing disruptions and increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, semiconductor supply chains are inherently vulnerable to disruptions and chip crises can easily recur in the future. We present the first work that elevates supply chain conditions to be a first-class design constraint for future computer architectures. We characterize and model the chip creation process from standard tapeout to packaging to provide a framework for architects to quickly assess the time-to-market of their chips depending on their architecture and the current market conditions. In addition, we propose a novel metric, the Chip Agility Score (CAS) - a way to quantify a chip architecture’s resilience against production-side supply changes. We utilize our proposed time-to-market model, CAS, and chip design/manufacturing economic models to evaluate prominent architectures in the context of current and speculative supply chain changes. We find that using an older process node to re-release chips can decrease time-to-market by 73%-116% compared to using the most advanced processes. Also, mixed-process chiplet architectures can be 24%-51% more agile compared to equivalent single-process chiplet and monolithic designs respectively. Guided by our framework, we present an architectural design methodology that minimizes time-to-market and chip creation costs while maximizing agility for mass-produced legacy node chips. Our modeling framework and data sets are open-sourced to advance supply chain aware computer architecture research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISCA 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 50th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9798400700958
StatePublished - Jun 17 2023
Event50th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA 2023 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jun 17 2023Jun 21 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Computer Architecture
ISSN (Print)1063-6897


Conference50th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture


  • chip shortage
  • economics
  • modeling
  • semiconductor supply chain


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