One way to save Moore's Law from an unpleasant and industry-disrupting demise is for manufacturing process technology developers to make a series of changes at a given node – say 20-nm – but label each successive change with a smaller number.
In that way double patterning of deep immersion lithography can continue to produce chips that are in processes technologies that are labeled 16-nm, 14-nm, 10-nm and so on, thereby keeping Moore's law moving forward.
And as long as some feature on the chip can be measured at the
appropriate dimension it should be possible to find a way to justify the
[Get a 10% discount on ARM TechCon 2012 conference passes by using promo code EDIT. Click here to learn about the show and register.]
Of course, the IC die-area savings and cost advantages that we have become used to from previous process node transitions would not accrue with these forthcoming node transitions. However, as chip designers at the leading edge are becoming more interested in power savings than area savings as long as the successive process nodes produce ICs with lower power consumption all may be well.
On the dot, plus it should be considered that since 10 nm is already in the shot noise regime, the required power for given throughput and resolution will be inversely proportional to the wavelength. Between particle counting noise and wave diffraction limits, we already passed the sweet spot for single optical projection exposure.
I agree that 'human imagination is not bound ...' But i think there is a fundimental lack of understanding of 1) how important ML has been to the entire world economy and 2)there is wishful thinking that something will replace it and things will continue on indefinitely. There is a lot of denial. I would be as bold to say there is not one 'new technology' or application that could have happened in the last 50 years without ML. that statement requires a lot of deep thought, but i believe you will find it's true.
It is not a problem, not a problem at all, if Moore's law comes to a halt. We already waste most of the real estate on an IC whenever it is in operation. Less than 1% of the chip is switching at any given moment. Moore's law can end tomorrow, and we will not be in trouble if we find a way to switch twice as much of the real estate on the chip every year, by improving CMOS power efficiency and processor architecture. By switching more real estate per nanosecond, this continues the increase in computational performance of the chip. We can potentially do that for another 2 decades after Moore's law is exhausted, so there is always reason for optimism!