Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, March 12, 2010

Long live Moore's Law!

IBM - 3.9.10

Some laws are made to be broken, and others are made to be followed. A team of IBM Researchers in collaboration with two Swiss partners are looking to keep one law in particular alive and well for another 15 years: Moore's Law. The law states that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit will double every 18 months. More than 50 years old, this law is still in effect, but to extend it as long as 2020 will require a change from mere transistor scaling to novel packaging architectures such as so-called 3D integration, the vertical integration of chips.

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Unknown said...

Whether you are stacking die horizontally in a multi-chip module (MCM) or vertically in a stack like the article describes - that's not going to extend Moore's law.

Moore's law applies to a single die and to be completely anal, the "law" is based on linear feature size reduction of 0.7 per generation of lithography. This is a 0.49 area shrink. That's what the "law" predicts - halving of the area from 70% shrink linear.

This will end quite soon for FETs and for metal interconnects. There are just not enough atoms left at these small feature sizes.