This article explains the complexities of chip design and how machine learning allied with an AI might improve efficiency in ‘floorplanning’.
This article makes the following points:
- Floorplanning is the fundamental step in the design of microchips.
- ‘Floorplanning’ involves the placement of standard cells and macroblocks onto silicon.
- Number of components per microchip doubles every two years.
- Component placement affects microchip performance.
- Engineers produce the design with the assistance of software.
- Evolving designs cause the engineer to restart the ‘floorplanning’.
- Chip design takes days or weeks to complete.
- Previous attempts to automate ‘floorplanning’ have failed.
- A new machine–learning system was trained to floorplan successfully.
- The system was able to design working floorplans within hours.
- The new system was able to produce working designs on its first attempt.
- The AI’s method replicates a method designers moved away from previously.
- AI designs look vastly different from human design.
The technology has been incorporated into Google’s next-generation AI processors.