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Closing the Virtuous Cycle of AI for IC and IC for AI


David Z. Pan

University of Texas at Austin

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The recent artificial intelligence (AI) boom has been primarily driven by three confluence forces: algorithms, data, and computing power enabled by modern integrated circuits (ICs), including specialized AI accelerators. This talk will present a closed-loop perspective for synergistic AI and agile IC design with two main themes, AI for IC and IC for AI. As semiconductor technology enters the era of extreme scaling, IC design and manufacturing complexities become extremely high. More intelligent and agile IC design technologies are needed than ever to optimize performance, power, manufacturability, design cost, etc., and deliver equivalent scaling to Moore’s Law. This talk will present some recent results leveraging modern AI and machine learning advancement with domain-specific customizations for agile IC design and manufacturing closure. Meanwhile, customized ICs, including those with beyond-CMOS technologies, can drastically improve AI performance and energy efficiency by orders of magnitude. I will present some recent results on hardware/software co-design for high-performance and energy-efficient optical neural networks. Closing the virtuous cycle between AI and IC holds great potential to advance the state-of-the-art of each other significantly.