Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) be able to keep Moore’s Law alive after the 2nm node?
Inside a TSMC fabrication facility
Next quarter the world’s top foundry, TSMC, is expected to test 4nm chips with mass production of the 3nm process node starting in the second half of next year. Both TSMC and Samsung are working on the 2nm process node which could be mass produced as soon as 2024. There are concerns about the future of Moore’s Law especially after the 2nm process node.
Google has already used AI to help design Tensor Processing Units
The Neural Network gets better at designing the chips over time and “is “capable of generalizing across chips — meaning that it can learn from experience to become both better and faster at placing new chips — allowing chip designers to be assisted by artificial agents with more experience than any human could ever gain.” The paper concludes that “We show that our method can generate chip floorplans that are comparable or superior to human experts in under six hours, whereas humans take months to produce acceptable floorplans for modern accelerators. Our method has been used in production to design the next generation of Google TPU.”
The hope is that using AI to design upcoming chips will lead to solutions that will bring process nodes down to under 1nm. At the present time, as Mirhoseini and Goldie point out, “our method utilizes past experience to become better and faster at solving new instances of the problem, allowing chip design to be performed by artificial agents with more experience than any human designer. Our method was used to design the next generation of Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators, and has the potential to save thousands of hours of human effort for each new generation.”