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ITRI and Synopsys’ AI Chip Design Lab Launches Soft Opening

To accelerate AI chip development in Taiwan, ITRI has worked with Synopsys Inc. to jointly establish the AI Chip Design Lab. The Lab is located at ITRI headquarters in Hsinchu and will offer services including AI chip design and verification to help Taiwan’s semiconductor industry gain advantage in the age of AI and 5G.

ITRI and Synopsys jointly unveiled the AI Chip Design Lab at ITRI headquarters in Hsinchu on Oct. 21.

ITRI and Synopsys jointly unveiled the AI Chip Design Lab at ITRI headquarters in Hsinchu on Oct. 21.

In the Lab’s soft opening ceremony on Oct. 21, ITRI’s Executive Vice President Pei-Zen Chang commented on the importance of AI chip development and the establishment of the Lab. He indicated that major ICT manufacturers are developing various types of AI chips for diverse AIoT applications, and that multiple functions need to be integrated on one chip. He believes that the AI Chip Design Lab is here to help Taiwan, which is already a major player in the international IT field, to secure a crucial role in future developments. “Support offered by the Lab includes helping manufacturers plan out their blueprint and build their foundation, setting up the AI’s ‘brain’, and making AI chip designs more energy-saving and efficient,” he said.

Dr. Chi-Foon Chan, President and Co-CEO of Synopsys, remarked via conference call from Silicon Valley, U.S. that Synopsys is dedicated to helping Taiwan's semiconductor industry upgrade its technology. He expressed that his company is honored to establish the AI Chip Design Lab with ITRI and looks forward to galvanizing the realization of Taiwan's AI chip industry chain. As a leading global provider of EDA, IP, and software quality and security solutions, Synopsys will continue to work closely with the industry, academia, research institutes, and public companies to improve Taiwan's AI R&D capabilities and take advantage of new business opportunities.

According to David Lin, Corporate Senior Vice President of Synopsys and Chairman of Synopsys Taiwan, Synopsys has increased investment in Taiwan by NT$800 million, and expanded its Taiwan R&D team by more than 100 additional researchers. “Synopsys has actively collaborated with ITRI in planning the AI Chip Design Lab. The goal is to bring in advanced design tools, IP, and verification technology required for AI chips, and develop advanced AI design solutions,” he said. “ITRI will collect the actual needs of local design houses and provide integrated design analysis and verification services. The Lab is expected to shorten the time-to-market for AI chips from 1.8-2.5 years to six months and enhance AI chip performance by 25%.”

Dr. Tzi-Cker Chiueh, VP and General Director of ITRI’s Information and Communications Research Laboratories, stressed that the design and verification services offered by the AI Chip Design Lab come from ITRI, while chip design tools will be supplied by Synopsys. IC companies developing AI chips could obtain five types of assistance from this lab: education and training, chip design, software development, system verification, and market information. The Lab is expected to cut down 30-50% of development time for AI chips and significantly lower the design entry barriers for local IC companies.

The AI Chip Design Lab began the platform setup in 2019 and launched its soft opening in October this year, during which it has been running test operations on service models and set up an AI SoC reference design platform. The Lab is scheduled to officially come into service in October 2021.