Synopsys Releases New Artificial Intelligence Tool For Computer Chip Design

JAKARTA - Tech company Synopsys Inc has launched a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool designed to accelerate the computer chip design process at various stages. Synopsys makes the software the company uses to design computer chips.

Modern chips have tens of billions of small on-off switches called transistors, and the precise arrangement on chips has a huge impact on the cost and performance of the chips. Therefore, designers use software from companies like Synopsys to help them.

Previously, Synopsys had released an AI tool for one stage of the chip design process three years ago, with customers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and ST Microelectronics using the system.

Synopsys tools released on Wednesday 29 March at an annual user conference in Santa Clara, California, are much more widespread on chip design processes. The tools aim to help engineers search for bugs on their designs, test physical examples of chips from partners-manufacturing, and when mass production has started, increasing the proportion of defect-free chips out of production lines.

In addition, Synopsys also released a tool to facilitate the transfer of analog chip designs from one partner to another. The transfer is usually expensive and time-consuming.

Sassine Ghazi, president and chief operating officer Synopsys, said that the shortage of US supply of chips and export control over the business has led executives to seek alternatives.

"Every CEO is looking for an alternative. Nobody wants to be trapped if someone says you can't use China or Taiwan," Ghazi said.

Synopsys competes with the Cadence Design Systems, its biggest competitor, to add AI to chip design software. Although some of the Synopsys tools released last Wednesday are in line with Cadence, Karl Freund, principal analyst with Cambrian AI research, said that Synopsys is superior, with more than 100 chips by customers using its AI tools marketed.

"They will definitely excel compared to Cadence, especially if you look at what happened to the physical design," Freund said. "I think they will probably reach 1,000 (completioned chip designs) by the end of this year."