Posted by Joe Mariani
For more than 50 years, computers have been getting faster and smaller at a regular, predictable rate. This process is known as Moore’s law. In 1965 Gordon Moore noted that every year the number of components on an integrated circuit doubled, largely as a function of the shrinking size of the transistors that made up the majority of the components in those circuits.i While recent chip launches have held true to the advances predicted by Moore’s law, the cost to produce those chips is beginning to increase to a point that could threaten further advances. Perhaps ironically, the next generation of super-fast chips may actually be thanks to a growing market for chips that do not need to be particularly fast at all.
Almost since it was first coined, detractors (including Moore himself, we might add) have been predicting the demise of Moore’s law.ii Chips simply cannot go on getting faster, and transistors smaller, forever. One problem is physics. As transistors get smaller and smaller, electrons can begin quantum tunneling through the gate of a transistor, losing power like gas leaking out of the tank in your car.
Continue reading “Made for each other: Semi-conductor manufacturing and the IoT”