PRESS RELEASE: Efabless Design Challenge Winners Advance the Power of AI in Chip Design

Second event in groundbreaking series showcases the future of chip design

PALO ALTO, Calif., September 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Efabless Corporation, the creator platform for chips, today announced the first, second, and third-place winners of its Second AI Generated Open-Source Silicon Design Challenge. The challenge was open to a broad range of participants including IC designers, university students, professors, industry experts, and even those who had never designed a chip before.

The AI Generated Open-Source Silicon Design Challenges are a part of Efabless’ initiative to democratize the use of Generative AI for chip design. The initiative drives innovation and learning in the chip design community by: 

  • Advancing the capabilities of generative AI use for chip design and verification, as well as secure device implementation.
  • Enabling and engaging a global community of adopters and innovators by sharing their learnings and best practices in open public forums. 
  • Accelerating the creation of open-source data sets with designs that are broadly and openly accessible.  

In the Challenges, participants create digital designs in Verilog using generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Bard.  The Verilog designs are then implemented using the chipIgnite Caravel SoC template and an open-source design flow such as OpenLane.  Participants submit all prompts used to generate a complete RTL model for the design along with verification testbenches that demonstrate the design meets the intended functionality.

The first-place winner of the contest is AI by AI by Emilio Isaac Baungarten Leon.  The design is a dedicated hardware Integrated Circuit (IC) for a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) that classifies the MNIST dataset written with the help of ChatGPT and documents the entire design process from the Python environment of TensorFlow to Verilog. This approach demonstrates the incredible possibilities of AI-driven design.

The second-place winner of the contest is MASC-AI-Synthesized-Cryptoprocessor by Mark Zakharov. This design is a RISC-V Crypto extension leveraging the capabilities of GPT-4. The unique aspect of this project is the use of DSLX as the hardware description language, verification with co-simulation code generated by GPT-4, and additional automatically generated verification tests.

The third-place winner of the contest is Caravel-Vector-Coprocessor-AI by William Salcedo. The design adds basic vector instructions to the Caravel Management SoC.  All code, besides file paths, was written using ChatGPT. This includes test cases, C libraries, blocks, etc. In this project, GPT-4 served as a pair programmer which followed the instructions of a human that was aware of how the microarchitecture would look.

Designs were chosen by a well-regarded panel of industry experts using criteria such as design completeness, documentation, technical merit, and community interest.  The top three winning designs will be fabricated by Efabless and delivered to their respective design teams in the form of packaged parts and evaluation boards.  Other entrants with qualifying designs will receive a free evaluation board and one of the winning AI-designed chips.

"We're thrilled by the innovative approaches in this second challenge," said Mike Wishart, CEO of Efabless. "The range of designs and concepts from participants is astonishing. We're especially pleased, though not surprised, by the collaborative spirit within our growing community during the Challenge. We look forward to the first-ever, completely AI-generated open-source chips returning from fabrication this fall!”

For more detail on the event and the winning designs, please visit, and stay tuned for an announcement regarding the third contest in the series.

About Efabless
Efabless offers a platform applying open source and community models to enable a global community of chip experts and non-experts to collaboratively design, share, prototype and commercialize special purpose chips. Nearly 1,000 designs and 450 tapeouts have been executed on Efabless over the past two years. The company’s customers include startups, universities, and research institutions around the world.

Press Contact
Andrea Vedanayagam