Whenever I write a story about Moore's Law dying or slowing down, I always get comments from those who violently disagree. People have been predicting the end of chip technology for years, they rightly note. Each generation presents huge engineering challenges, and each time smart engineers find ways over the hurdles that keep the $200 billion semiconductor industry rolling on.
I suppose someone someday could find ways to make transistors the size of individual atoms or even smaller. Perhaps he or she will invent some technique that does not use transistors at all.
In the short term, there are all sorts of tricks people can plan with packaging and other tools in the silicon workhouse -- to say nothing of savvy marketing, which has always been employed to smooth over the rough edges in engineering.
Of course, there are a lot of cool ideas that can still be made in something less than the next bleeding-edge node. Synopsys's co-CEO Aart de Geuss is fond of pointing out that lots of great products are still made in a whole area of mature process nodes, most recently at a March event.
But as a former Intel executive said in a Hot Chips keynote last year, exponential curves don't come along that often. This industry has had the delightful good luck of riding an exponential curve for several decades, amassing wealth and wonders.
Moore's Law will slow and die. But people will not be encumbered by that bit of technology history. They will still go out and do wonderful things.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times