Systems & Design

Raising The Bar With The Next Generation Of AI For Chip Design

Speeding up better design with reinforcement learning.


The semiconductor industry is enjoying renewed growth despite chip shortages plaguing everything from cars to kitchen appliances. But while the chips themselves continue to get faster and smarter, the chip design process itself hasn’t changed that much in 20+ years. It typically takes 2-3 years to design a chip with a large engineering team and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to get a chip from ideas to fabrication. But now, change is coming in the form of artificial intelligence, which has recently demonstrated significant improvements in optimizing layouts for power, area (cost), and performance.

Using a reinforcement learning (RL) based approach, similar to the one that beat the world’s GO champion way back in 2016, Samsung announced that they now have a chip back from their factory that was optimized by the Synopsys platform we discussed in May 2020. As far as we know, this is the industry’s very first working chip whose layout was designed by AI.

We expect a large share of the semiconductor industry will begin using these AI platforms; the impact is too large to ignore.

Click here to download the Cambrian AI research paper.

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