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Introduction: Photonic artificial intelligence chip. The photonic chip is 1000 times faster than the electronic chip, but its power consumption is only one percent.

Photonic artificial intelligence chip. The photonic chip is 1000 times faster than the electronic chip, but its power consumption is only one percent.

The computing power is 1000 times that of the traditional electronic artificial intelligence chip, but the power consumption is only one percent, the low delay is also anti-electromagnetic interference, and the photon developed by the doctoral students of Tsinghua University, Peking University and Beijing Jiaotong University. Artificial intelligence chips have achieved many breakthroughs in technology, and can be widely used in mobile phones, autonomous driving, intelligent robots, drones and other fields in the future. Recently, the photonic artificial intelligence chip project settled in Shunyi, pushing this new technology to the front.

"The design, processing, packaging and testing of the chips are all done in China, and they are free from the dependence on foreign high-process lithography machines. It is the core technology for China to change lanes in the chip field." Research team leader Bai Bing said.

has the advantage of high speed and low power consumption

The photon artificial intelligence chip of Shunyi is from a startup team composed of doctoral students from many universities such as Tsinghua University, Peking University and Beijing Jiaotong University. The team is the first in the country and the second photonic artificial intelligence chip research team in the world.

Bai Bing, one of the team leaders and one of the developers of photonic chips, is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in communication and information systems at Beijing Jiaotong University. As the first team to study photon computing in China, Bai Bing introduced that photonic chips have the advantages of low latency and anti-electromagnetic interference. The computing power is three orders of magnitude of traditional chips, and the power consumption is only one percent of traditional chips.

The whole process can be completed in China

for the development of photonic artificial intelligence chips, Bai Bing said that the domestic electronic chip design field is very strong, but there is a strong core processing link. Technical barriers rely on foreign high-speed lithography machines, which are limited in many aspects such as cost. The production process of the photonic artificial intelligence chip is self-controllable, and the whole process can be completed in China. It is completed by the domestic 130nm microelectronics process, and it is free from the dependence on foreign high-process lithography machines, and there is no need to catch up on the process.

"The design, processing, packaging and testing of the chip are all completed in China, and they have got rid of the foreign high-process lithography machine.Dependence, so it is said that China's core technology in the field of chip changeover. "White ice said.

Bai Bing said that the future chip is mainly for the application and development of artificial intelligence. At present, the product deployment of photonic artificial intelligence chips is mainly concentrated on the device side, and it is expected to use photonic chips in 2022. To the cloud.

learned that the third-generation semiconductor is an important part of Beijing's high-tech industry and one of the three innovative industrial clusters identified by Shunyi. Currently, Shunyi is laying out the entire industrial chain. The 71,000-square-meter third-generation semiconductor materials and application joint innovation base was completed in December last year. At present, the Shunyiyuan Management Committee of Zhongguancun Science Park has signed a contract with its team, and the project officially settled in Shunyi.

Introduction, Shanghai has also begun the layout of photonic chips. It is planned to build a national silicon photonic chip R&D and pilot test base by 2021. By 2025, the mass production platform will realize the mass supply of chips and become the internationally renowned R&D and manufacturing base of silicon photonics. 123]

Interpretation 1 What is a photonic artificial intelligence chip?

Bai Bing introduced, photon artificial intelligence chip refers to the use of silicon-based photonic integration technology, let Provide computing power to provide high-performance hardware support for artificial intelligence applications. The first level is “artificial intelligence chip.” If a chip runs very fast and is very power-saving, the physical structure of the chip must be highly matched with the software. In order to achieve a relatively high efficiency, including face recognition, autopilot, security monitoring, AI finance, AI medical, etc., is actually an artificial intelligence algorithm, to design a chip structure to match its characteristics, This is the artificial intelligence chip.

The second level is "photon." Existing artificial intelligence chips are electronic chips, and electronic chips have bottlenecks in terms of computing speed and power consumption. Photonic artificial intelligence chips are Relying on silicon-based photon integration technology, the matrix operation and data exchange are completed internally by light. Its calculation process is highly matched with artificial intelligence algorithm, and the calculation speed is higher than that of ordinary electronic chip, and the power consumption is lower than that of electronic chip.

Qin Hao, assistant to the director of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of Shanghai New Micro Technology Group, said that the development of integrated circuits has tended to follow Moore's Law. At the limit, silicon photonics technology is one of the development directions beyond Moore's research field. Through silicon light integration, light is used instead of the original electricity for transmission.It is possible to reduce it to one tenth or even lower.

Interpretation 2 What are the advantages compared with traditional chips?

Bai Bing explained that there are two main advantages. One advantage is the calculation speed. The calculation speed of the photonic artificial intelligence chip is about three orders of magnitude of the electronic chip, about 1000 times. The calculation speed of a single electronic chip is about 7.8 TFlops, and the calculation speed of the photonic artificial intelligence chip is about 3200 TFlops. The second advantage is power consumption. The power consumption of the photonic artificial intelligence chip is only one percent of the electronic chip, the unit electronic chip and the power consumption is about 300W, and the corresponding photonic artificial intelligence chip consumes only 4W.

Comparing whether different chips have advantages in the same situation, we must consider the performance-to-power ratio and the unit of US dollar to provide computing power. The performance-to-power ratio refers to the performance provided by the unit of watts. It emphasizes how much electricity is involved, and the unit of computing power in the dollar emphasizes the production cost of the chip. In both respects, photonic artificial intelligence chips have advantages over electronic chips.

Interpretation 3 What are the main applications in the future?

Bai Bing said that photonic artificial intelligence chips can be widely used in key artificial intelligence fields such as mobile phones, security surveillance, autonomous driving, service robots, drones, industrial Internet of Things, enterprise servers and data centers. For example, install a camera on the robot arm of the sorting robot to let it recognize something, control it to grab, and so on.

According to its introduction, the development of photonic artificial intelligence chips has benefited from the development of artificial intelligence. The optical computing chip has always existed in the laboratory, but it has not had a good application scenario, and there is no way to apply it. In recent years, along with the rise of artificial intelligence, the algorithmic characteristics of artificial intelligence just match the physical properties of optical chips, which makes optical computing have the opportunity to go out of the laboratory and go to industrial applications. This is such a process.

Yu Mingbin, an expert of the “Hundred Talents Program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems, has been working on the construction of a silicon light process platform since returning to China. He believes that this is a forward-looking technology that may lead to a new space for huge industries.

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