The Death of Moore's Law: T-Minus 15 Years and Counting
Michael Hoffman & Kristopher Kubicki
September 19, 2007 11:46 AM
comment(s) - last by
A young Gordon Moore circa 1975
Gordon Moore took part in the afternoon keynote during IDF 2007
The fall edition of the 2007 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is officially underway from the San Francisco Moscone Center. The Tuesday morning keynote featured more
details about the
as one of the main points of the discussion.
In a later session, Dr. Moira Gunn, host of NPR Tech Nation, hosted a fireside chat with Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder and creator of Moore's Law. Moore received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowded conference hall packed with thousands of attendees more than willing to respect a Silicon Valley legend.
Of course, the question on everyone's mind was the validity of Moore's Law. Specifically, whether or not it holds up today the same way it did when Moore first documented his observations almost forty years ago.
Moore's Law -- actually more of a conjecture -- essentially states the number of transistors placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years. His observation helped outline trends the semiconductor industry for more than 40 years.
"We have another decade, a decade and a half, before we hit something that is fairly fundamental," Moore said during the session. That something "fundamental" is material science. Even the most advanced lithography conceivable today can't eliminate the brick wall that is the nanoscale.
Even at some point, lining up individual atoms no longer becomes feasible for transistor design. Researchers from Intel are already easing into the field of using carbon nanotubes for processor interconnects; a team from
the University of Pennsylvania just announced a new method for storing data
via phase-changing nanowires
"It's an exciting time," he said. "I'd love to come back in 100 years and see what happened in the meantime."
Of course, even Moore's understanding of transistor trends is no match for the prowess of ambitious engineers. Conventional computing principles go out the window with
the advent of quantum computing
, for example. Other types of alternative computing, including biological-based neural-computing, does not readily translate to transistor-count -- but that hasn't stopped researchers from
making enormous progress in the last few years
The death of Moore's Law is imminent, but new research and new materials assure that its successor will pack the same punch.
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RE: Already dead
9/21/2007 12:17:45 AM
Let me add to your comment though, you bring up a good point. Not all transistors within a CMOS device are equal, some are made and patterned larger than others.... the definition does account by stating the to closest lines.
The point, I think you are making, is that we rarely see a perfect 50% compaction. This is true, so in the strictest sense there is some 'noise' about the line that makes up Moore's Law. I have seen Intel's compactions range from as high as 47% to as low as 43% from published data. AMD does not make that data readily available, however, the Brisbane product gives us an idea about 65 nm.... AMD only achieved about 31% compaction (not very good) for the same architecture and transistor count (two big stipulations you must make to draw anykind of corollary), which means something is wrong... their 65 nm is really more like 75 nm :) ....
RE: Already dead
9/25/2007 8:35:22 AM
It's true that metal one half-pitch is the main guide for ITRS but this is different for memory vs. other types of chips, e.g., ASICs or CPUs. 65 nm node Intel Metal 1 is 210 nm pitch (which would mean 105 nm design rule).It was 220 nm pitch for 90 nm node (or 110 nm design rule). The trick to shrinking the non-memory chips is to make them more memory-like.
RE: Already dead
10/12/2007 10:50:02 PM
This is incorrect... could you provide a linke to where you get this information, I think you are quoting gate to gate pitch, not metal to metal pitch.
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