AI Outperforms Humans on Chip Floorplanning Stage

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Image: Nature

New techniques are being used to improve chip designs as manufacturing processes continue to mature and evolve. Researchers at Cornell University have applied AI in the floorplanning stage, where the memory block layout of the macroblock is decided. The AI not only designed it quicker than humans but also increased the potential speed and efficiency of the chip. This stage usually takes days or weeks, but the AI designed it in under six hours. It was trained with reinforcement learning to assess the state of the chip when making decisions. Google has already used these findings for its next-generation artificial-intelligence processors.

Success or failure in designing microchips depends heavily on steps known as floorplanning and placement. These steps determine where memory and logic elements are located on a chip. The locations, in turn, strongly affect whether the completed chip design can satisfy operational requirements such as processing speed and power efficiency.

Sources: Nature, Cornell University, TechPowerUp

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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