The news: Samsung is using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the highly complex process of designing cutting edge computer chips, per Ars Technica. The Korean tech company, which is the world’s top chipmaker by revenues, hopes to accelerate R&D of future processors, and competitors like Google, IBM, and NVIDIA are following suit.
Here’s how it works: Samsung’s use of Synopsys’ AI employs a machine-learning technique called ‘reinforcement learning’ to work out chip designs. Reinforcement learning involves training an algorithm to perform a task through reward or punishment; it has yielded apparently good results as an effective way of capturing subtle and hard-to-codify human judgment.
While this methodology has been pioneered with Samsung, it has the potential to become an industry standard for manufacturers like NVIDIA and IBM, which are looking to ramp up bespoke chip design.
The opportunity: If companies like Samsung, Google, NVIDIA, and IBM can successfully harness AI to develop future chips, they could inspire other companies to do the same.
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