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Synopsys’ AI-assisted EDA tool aims to cut GPU design costs in half

At Hot Chips 2021, Synopsys announced an ambitious plan to develop a fully integrated set of electronic design automation (EDA) tools that rely on artificial intelligence. These tools are expected to reduce chip development costs, shorten time to market, improve performance and increase yield. Samsung has received the first chip designed with AI-assisted EDA tools and found that its performance is better than expected, while power consumption is lower.

Optimize the physical layout

The physical design of modern chips is an expensive and difficult process. As the manufacturing technology becomes thinner and thinner, the cost of IC design is also rising. Nowadays, it takes years to develop a new CPU or GPU architecture, and the physical realization of the design chip may take about 24 months or more. Some analysts said that in 3nm design, the cost of complex GPU will be close to 1.5 billion US dollars, not all companies can afford it. However, Synopsys says there is a way to use AI-enabled design tools to reduce these costs by as much as 50% and reduce development time by orders of magnitude.

(Image source: Synopsys)

Modern EDA tools have greatly simplified chip development, but chip floor plans, layout, layout, and routing require input from human engineers who use their experience to develop efficient designs. Every small aspect of chip design requires people to evaluate different design options and make multiple decisions. Although experienced engineers often work very fast, they cannot evaluate hundreds of design options within a reasonable time, explore the feasibility of all possible combinations, and then simulate dozens or even hundreds of different layouts to find the best Layout. In contrast, the Synopsys platform can do this, with one notable exception: it does not have to simulate all 10^90,000 possible IC placement and routing methods, because it can use artificial intelligence to find the best way .

(Image source: Synopsys)

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