According to a new study, artificial intelligence machines can now create computer microchips in just six hours that perform better or just as well as those designed by human experts. Therefore, AI can devise blueprints thousands of times faster than humans. The new research was conducted by Google and is already helping to design microchips for the next generation of AI computer systems. The process in which the physical layout of a chip’s parts is referred to as floor planning and is crucial to the microchip’s ultimate performance in a machine. Floorplanning traditionally takes intense efforts and months of deliberation by technology experts. Until now, no automated floorplanning technique has been able to design the chips to the same standards of human performance.
In the new study, Google had AI software treat floorplanning as a game. The chip’s computation cores, memory controllers, and other essential elements are pieces on a board, and the object of the game is to optimize performance according to a range of values such as size, power usage, and efficiency. As the AI played the game, it became faster and better at completing the task, eventually boasting the capability to create chips that are comparable or superior to those created by humans.