The Era of Deep Learning IC Industry Driven by AI, Autonomous Driving and Virtual Reality
The big bang of AI and autonomous driving has driven the IC industry into a new era of rapid growth and innovation. Virtual reality has also become the new real world, enabled by advancements in computing and the progress in AI and big data. These have enabled innovative applications beyond just simply replacing human labor, automation and augmenting intelligence. It will also impact and innovate all aspects of our lives and the industry. On the other hand, traditional scaling by Moore’s Law has slowed down. New innovations are required to meet the continued demand of computing performance and power efficiency, and more functionalities. New innovations have come from algorithms, system platform and chip architectures, such as GPUs and SOCs with embedded deep learning accelerators optimized for AI, and new technologies for heterogeneous computing such as 2.5D/3D and new logic/memory integrations. These have resulted in 100~1000 times improvement in past few years. The exponential improvement in computing capabilities and new functionalities, has also further fueled the exponential growth of big data generated by AI, VR and autonomous driving. The next 1000 times of improvement requires a new paradigm shift in the collaboration and co-optimizations across the whole industry; from materials, process technologies, design and chip/system platform. In this era that machine(s) can improve themselves by deep learning, hear how the semiconductor industry also needs to have the capability of deep learning for innovation, to stay ahead in the changing competitive landscape.