AI is all around us quite literally. AI processors are being put into almost every type of chip, from the smallest IoT chips to the largest servers, data centers, and graphic accelerators. The industries that require higher performance will of course utilize AI chip architecture more, but as AI chips become cheaper to produce, we will begin to see AI chip architecture in places like IoT to optimize power and other types of optimizations that we may not even know are possible yet.
It’s an exciting time for AI chip architecture. Synopsys predicts that we’ll continue to see next-generation process nodes adopted aggressively because of the performance needs. Additionally, there’s already much exploration around different types of memory as well as different types of processor technologies and the software components that go along with each of these.
In terms of memory, chip designers are beginning to put memory right next to or even within the actual computing elements of the hardware to make processing time much faster. Additionally, software is driving the hardware, meaning that software AI models such as new neural networks are requiring new AI chip architectures. Proven, real-time interfaces deliver the data connectivity required with high speed and low latency, while security protects the overall systems and their data.
Finally, we’ll see photonics and multi-die systems come more into play for new AI chip architectures to overcome some of the AI chip bottlenecks. Photonics provides a much more power-efficient way to do computing and multi-die systems (which involve the heterogeneous integration of dies, often with memory stacked directly on top of compute boards) can also improve performance as the possible connection speed between different processing elements and between processing and memory units increases.
One thing is for sure: Innovations in AI chip architecture will continue to abound, and Synopsys will have a front-row seat and a hand in them as we help our customers design next-generation AI chips in an array of industries.