Artificial intelligence (AI) applications have become ubiquitous in our daily lives. With the continuous evolution of sensors, 5G communications, edge computing and other technologies, large-scale data centers, including those for automotive, factory automation equipment, medical healthcare devices, various consumer electronics products, and small battery-powered Internet of Things (IoT) nodes, have gradually evolved from the addition of digitization and networking functions to the ownership of different levels of “intelligence.”
These intelligent systems can turn the vast amounts of collected data into useful information, make quick decisions and respond appropriately in real time, or transmit the data to the cloud for in-depth analysis for higher-value insights. Whether they can play a full role depends not only on the computing power of the central processing unit (CPU) but also on the memory, which is no longer only responsible for the simple data storage function but has begun playing an increasingly important role in sharing the computing tasks with the processor.
Donald Huang is director of the Product Marketing Division of Macronix International Co., Ltd. (Macronix), a global leader in non-volatile memory integration components. Citing the smart connected vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving functions as an example, he said that this type of system equipped with sensors such as cameras, lidars and radars can generate up to several TB of data each day. Its memory, therefore, not only requires a large amount of storage capacity and high transmission bandwidth but must also meet the stringent automotive specifications that require very high standards for reliability and quality. Moreover, the memory needs to be more closely integrated with various sensing devices and system computing units in order to optimize the system operation and enable the smooth execution of various smart functions.