Google says its AI is much faster and better chip designer than humans

A toothpick pointing towards dies on a silicon chip wafer

Even before Artificial Intelligence (AI) had started taking shape, we humans have feared that it will outsmart and outdo us to take over our jobs, and eventually everything. Well, we may be very close to the realization of those fears now.

Today, in its study published in Nature, Google Brain, - which is Google's deep learning and AI research team - has claimed that it has developed a new reinforcement-learning system that can do microprocessor floor-planning designs much faster and better than humans can. With the help of an edge-based graph convolutional neural network architecture, it is being said that AI will be able to design floorplans in only a fraction of the time that humans take. The image below shows two memory macro-block designs. The one on the left was done by humans. The other one has been made by AI in only a few hours, far less than humans, and it has a higher number of macro-blocks too.

Two different CPU floorplan designs left one by human the right one by AI

The floorplan is basically the layout of the various functional blocks inside a processor to produce the most efficient design. Below are two example images of how a floorplan would look. The one on the left is a simpler one while the other one is a bit more complex with more details.

A microprocessor floorplan

Floorplan of a microprocessor

Interestingly, Google will be utilizing this technology to build its own AI-accelerators called Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). These will also be used for all chipmaking in general as it has the potential to save a huge amount of time.

Source and image: Nature |CPU floorplan images via ResearchGate (1),(2)

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