As artificial intelligence drives demand for more advanced semiconductors, new techniques in AI are becoming crucial to continued progress in chip manufacturing.
The entire semiconductor supply chain, from design through to final fabrication, is now dominated by data. Over 100 petabytes of information is created and collated during the manufacturing process, according to one estimate by Intel Corp. That’s equivalent to a 170-year-long YouTube video.
Data analytics and machine learning, a discipline within AI, is so integral to the process of making and testing chips that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. employs dozens of AI engineers and has its own machine-learning department. Whereas humans were once trained to visually inspect a chip for defects, the small scale and increasing complexity of electronic components has seen that function handed over to AI systems.