13 Skills Your Semiconductor Team Needs to Thrive in the Age of AI

The importance of AI is growing

In the ever-expanding field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) the demand for skilled professionals has reached unprecedented levels.

A January 2024 report by LinkedIn reveals that roles in AI and ML are among the fastest-growing. Data from Indeed’s research team, HiringLab, indicates an increase in AI and ML job postings, from 3 in every 100,000 postings in January 2023 to 11 in every 10,000 in January 2024.

How AI is impacting semiconductor design

The rise of AI is reshaping numerous roles in semiconductor design, and our team has participated in this shift. This includes actively recruiting for a VP-level leader of one AI startup and recruiting engineers to develop accelerators at another.

Because AI tasks demand immense compute power, traditional processors and systems fall short. Consequently, semiconductor companies are actively adapting their products to meet these demands.

They are building specialized GPUs, CPUs, ASICs, and FPGAs for AI-centric tasks, and every corner of our industry is experiencing the impact. Even power management ICs are undergoing redesign to handle the high-voltage requirements of modern data centers.

As the semiconductor industry evolves, engineering and talent acquisition leaders face the challenging task of mapping out the skills and headcount necessary for their teams to grow. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the top skills that leaders should consider for their teams to thrive in this age of AI:

The Top 13 AI Skills Semiconductor Teams Need

  1. Hardware-Software Co-Design: Perhaps the most important, teams must be able to optimize overall system performance through HW/SW collaboration to ensure hardware accelerators can be efficiently used by AI algorithms.
  2. Architectural Design Leadership: Essential for developing efficient and scalable AI hardware architectures like designing specialized accelerators that work for complex neural network operations.
  3. Emerging Technologies: Exploring new applications in the AI space, such as quantum computing and neuromorphic engineering, ensures teams and companies stay can ahead of competitors
  4. Digital Logic Design: The optimization of logic circuits for seamless integration with memory and AI algorithms is key for implementing custom arithmetic schemes for AI models.
  5. Verification and Validation: Ensuring reliability and correctness and minimizing errors through rigorous testing and verification enables larger models with greater complexity.
  6. Embedded Systems Programming: The ability to tailor drivers and firmware for AI hardware platforms enables the highest performance and functionality of systems.
  7. FPGA and ASIC Design: Developing chips customized for AI workloads in specialized applications is on the rise and requires flexible architectures and rapid prototyping.
  8. Parallel Computing: Teams need to understand the fundamentals of parallelism for optimal AI hardware design, including parallel processing units for matrix operations.
  9. Memory Systems Optimization: Enhancing data access and throughput is crucial for handling large datasets and moving vast amounts of data in AI applications.
  10. High-Speed Interfaces: Managing these large data volumes with low latency and ensuring seamless communication between various components is vital.
  11. Power Efficiency Optimization: Designing energy-efficient AI hardware makes systems more performant and reduces system operating expenses.
  12. Thermal Management: Ensuring reliability under high temperatures also increases overall system performance.
  13. Signal Processing: Preprocessing sensor data for AI inference tasks opens the potential for Edge applications.

In conclusion

Understanding these skills is crucial for engineering and talent acquisition leaders to develop strategies for identifying and recruiting the talent they need for their current and future teams.

However, if identifying the right candidates in this Age of AI seems daunting, our experienced team of AI/ML recruiters is here to support you. We specialize in finding and attracting top talent with those specific skills and have the track record to prove it.

Reach out to us today to connect with our professional team of recruiters and accelerate your company’s success – https://sbtindustries.com/contact/