May 17, 2020

Why innovation is the key to success

Kayleigh Shooter
2 min
Gigabit Magazine takes a look at why innovation is the key to an organisation’s success.

What is innovation?

Innovation is the process of creating b...

Gigabit Magazine takes a look at why innovation is the key to an organisation’s success.

What is innovation? 

Innovation is the process of creating better solutions to meet new challenges. When organizations use it effectively, they can create new opportunities for themselves. Innovation is the process of creating better solutions to meet new challenges. When organizations use it effectively, they can create new opportunities for themselves.

The power to go beyond the existing possibilities also gives them a competitive advantage in the market and opens the doorway to success. While there have been many companies that have achieved huge success initially, the inability to keep innovating has pushed them into the dark corners of history.

Inspire Innovative Culture

Creating a work environment that encourages out-of-the-box thinking is one of the ideal ways to permeate innovation in the very fabric of an organization’s culture. When Mark Randall, VP of creativity at Adobe, took up the task of creating a culture that encourages and assists experimentation in his company, it was more than a challenge.

But over the years, the serial innovator has got his teams to develop and deploy numerous products, which combined have sold over a million units and generated over $100 million. Randall successfully infused the innovation culture that converted into huge profits. Inspiring teams and guiding them in the right direction could take any organization to a new level of success.

Focus on the Future

It’s one thing to innovate, but another to utilize these inventions for commercial gains in the future. Let’s take for instance the popular story of Xerox. The company’s 914 photocopier, launched in 1959 was a technological marvel of its time. It was one of the most successful products from Xerox ever and revolutionized the document-copying industry.

Meanwhile, the research division of Xerox at Palo Alto, California made many more technological breakthroughs, and the list consisted of some of the most startling innovations that included laser printing, graphical user interface (GUI) and many more. But Xerox was caught up in its success and never focused on these inventions, turning a blind eye to the future. Other companies like Microsoft & Apple “borrowed” these innovations to make billions.

By seeing these examples, it is safe to say that innovation is not a one-time action but an ongoing process. Businesses run on ideas and successful businesses need “great ideas” to keep growing; thus, it is Innovation that helps to drive the vision that the entrepreneur had when they started the company. Organizations that wish to succeed must embrace it or risk collapsing.

Source: Business2Community

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Jun 11, 2021

Google AI Designs Next-Gen Chips In Under 6 Hours

Google
AI
Manufacturing
semiconductor
3 min
Google AI’s deep reinforcement learning algorithms can optimise chip floor plans exponentially faster than their human counterparts

In a Google-Nature paper published on Wednesday, the company announced that AI will be able to design chips in less than six hours. Humans currently take months to design and layout the intricate chip wiring. Although the tech giant has been working in silence on the technology for years, this is the first time that AI-optimised chips have hit the mainstream—and that the company will sell the result as a commercial product. 

 

“Our method has been used in production to design the next generation of Google TPU (tensor processing unit chips)”, the paper’s authors, Azalea Mirhoseini and Anna Goldie wrote. The TPU v4 chips are the fastest Google system ever launched. “If you’re trying to train a large AI/ML system, and you’re using Google’s TensorFlow, this will be a big deal”, said Jack Gold, President and Principal Analyst at J.Gold Associates

 

Training the Algorithm 

In a process called reinforcement learning, Google engineers used a set of 10,000 chip floor plans to train the AI. Each example chip was assigned a score of sorts based on its efficiency and power usage, which the algorithm then used to distinguish between “good” and “bad” layouts. The more layouts it examines, the better it can generate versions of its own. 

 

Designing floor plans, or the optimal layouts for a chip’s sub-systems, takes intense human effort. Yet floorplanning is similar to an elaborate game. It has rules, patterns, and logic. In fact, just like chess or Go, it’s the ideal task for machine learning. Machines, after all, don’t follow the same constraints or in-built conditions that humans do; they follow logic, not preconception of what a chip should look like. And this has allowed AI to optimise the latest chips in a way we never could. 

 

As a result, AI-generated layouts look quite different to what a human would design. Instead of being neat and ordered, they look slightly more haphazard. Blurred photos of the carefully guarded chip designs show a slightly more chaotic wiring layout—but no one is questioning its efficiency. In fact, Google is starting to evaluate how it could use AI in architecture exploration and other cognitively intense tasks. 

 

Major Implications for the Semiconductor Sector 

Part of what’s impressive about Google’s breakthrough is that it could throw Moore’s Law, the axion that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every five years, out the window. The physical difficulty of squeezing more CPUs, GPUs, and memory on tiny silicon die will still exist, but AI optimisation may help speed up chip performance.

 

Any chance that AI can help speed up current chip production is welcome news. Though the U.S. Senate recently passed a US$52bn bill to supercharge domestic semiconductor supply chains, its largest tech firms remain far behind. According to Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research, “the faster and cheaper AI will win in business and government, including with the military”. 

 

All in all, AI chip optimisation could allow Google to pull ahead of its competitors such as AWS and Microsoft. And if we can speed up workflows, design better chips, and use humans to solve more complex, fluid, wicked problems, that’s a win—for the tech world and for society. 

 

 

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