A Layout Generator for AI Hardware?
I recently read an article in Semiconductor Engineering called Layout Generators For Artificial Intelligence Hardware Design. Straight off the bat reading: “Accelerate your IC design process with flexible layout automation controllable by the designer.”
A combination of a series of words that those promoting artificial intelligence seems to like — BINGO!
As mostly a social scientist and not an engineer I get confused when encountering terms like these, and that is why I have set out to learn more about artificial intelligence and hardware.
So what is a layout generator?
First why is it needed:
- “AI often appears to be embedded in the end user device, such as a smartphone, the required computing power is generally only available on servers in the cloud.
- This means the Internet must always be available, and the latencies involved can be relatively long.
- In particular, signal analysis applications with extremely low energy consumption and extremely long battery lifetimes or time-critical applications cannot rely on such centralized architectures.
- In these cases, the complex signal analysis must be performed locally at the edge, in distributed fashion, making special hardware indispensable.”
There is a lot of talk about ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits). It is an integrated circuit (IC) chip customised for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use.
“With generators as AI hardware design tools, it is possible to economically meet the challenges posed by the complex and variable requirements of modern applications.”
This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 348. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My focus for day 300–400 is about AI, hardware and the climate crisis.