MIT Has Made A Lego-Like AI Chip That Stacks To Upgrade Your Device

Sustainable devices are the future.

AI Chip
Image: Unsplash

Artificial Intelligence is the next big innovation that will revolutionize the world. MIT engineers have now developed an AI chip resembling LEGO as they intend to create modular and sustainable electronics.

It is a reconfigurable chip with multiple layers that can be stacked on or swapped to simplify the process of adding new sensors or updating existing processors.

The ‘reconfigurable’ AI chips have unlimited expandability based on the combination of the layers. Hence, these chips can reduce electronic waste while ensuring our devices remain up-to-date.

The New AI Chip Design

The Artificial intelligence chip design is truly outstanding as it comprises alternating layers of processing and sensing elements combined with LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that let the layers of the chips communicate optically.

The traditional modular chip design uses conventional wiring to transmit the signals between the layers. Such complex configurations are impossible to separate and rewire, thus making these traditional chips not reconfigurable.

MIT’s proposed chips use light instead of physical wires to transfer information through chips. Thus the process of reconfiguration it with layers is convenient.

MIT postdoc Jihoon Kang said, “You can add as many computing layers and sensors as you want, such as for light, pressure, and even smell”. He adds, “We call this a LEGO-like reconfigurable AI chip because it has unlimited expandability depending on the combination of layers.”

The researchers are desperately waiting to implement its innovative design to edge the computing devices, including the self-sufficient sensors and various other electronics that don’t work with a central or distributed resource like cloud-based computing or supercomputers.

In the innovative new design, the engineers pair image sensors with artificial synapse arrays, and each one of them are trained to identify a particular letter; in this instance, M, I, and T.

Instead of relying on the conventional approach of relaying the sensor singles to the process through physical wires, the team fabricates an optical system. In this method, every sensor and an artificial synapse creates an array to facilitate communication among the letters without needing a physical connection.

The Chips Configurations

Every chip (measuring around 4 square millimeters) is stacked with around three image recognition blocks as each contains an optical communication layer and an image sensor with an artificial synapse array for categorizing one of three letters in M, I, and T and assigns a pixelated image to the random letters on the clips.

It calculates the electrical current that every neural network array created in response. They found that these chips accurately categorized clear images for every letter but couldn’t distinguish between the blurry images, for example, among I and T.

Although, they instantly swapped the processing layer of the chip for a refined denoising processor and then created the clip which accurately identified images. The researchers also intend to add more processing capability and sensors to the chips as they think their application can be limitless.



I am a technophile, writer, YouTuber, and SEO analyst who is insane about tech and enjoys experimenting with numerous devices. An engineer by degree but a writer from the heart. I run a Youtube channel known as “XtreamDroid” that focuses on Android apps, how-to guides, and tips & tricks.
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