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AI Chips: The Beginning of a Rebirth of the Semiconductor Business

By Dick Weisinger

“We are living in a digital world where semiconductors are taken for granted, AI is bringing semiconductors back into the deserved spotlight, and now we are witnessing the dawn of the Cognitive Era enabled by semiconductors,” said Ajit Manocha, CEO and president at SEMI.

David Kanter, a microprocessor analyst at Real World Technologies, said that “it seems like every week, I run into a new company in this space, sometimes someone in China that I’ve never heard of.”

Ajit said that “Artificial Intelligence is changing everything – and bringing semiconductors back into the deserved spotlight. AI’s potential market of hundreds of zettabytes and trillions of dollars relies on new semiconductor architectures and compute platforms. Making these AI semiconductor engines will require a wildly innovative range of new materials, equipment, and design methodologies.” He called it a “rebirth of the semiconductor industry.”

Sundeep Bajikar, head of market intelligence at Applied Materials, wrote that “addressing the processor-to-memory access and bandwidth bottleneck will give rise to new memory architectures for AI, and could ultimately lead to convergence between logic and memory manufacturing process technologies… New memory devices such as ReRAM, FE-RAM and MRAM could catalyze innovation in the area of memory-centric computing. The traditional approach of separating process technologies for high-performance logic and high-performance memory may no longer be as relevant in a new AI world of reduced precision computing.”

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