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We picked ten technologies representative of trends which we expect will redefine our industry in an increasingly interactive world. Admittedly, there are dozens of other examples we could have chosen with equal validity. We welcome your comments on our choices.
A few software-related trends were included because they are enabled by electronic technologies. We intentionally resisted including the deluge of “social media” and related trends that are merely popular uses of electronic devices.
Some of the predictions here are controversial -- such as “Death of the PC” -- but please try to be tolerant. Remember that few agree on the shape of the future, except perhaps that it will mostly include revolutionary changes nobody predicted.
Someday My 3-D Princess Will Come
3-D chips are one of those perennially "almost there" technologies, but are bound to become commonplace by 2023. Between now and then the 2.5-D Interposers will provide a buffer that solves the same problems without the fabrication headaches. Interposers interconnect multiple 2-D die on a silicon substrate that rivals stacking die in speed and energy conservation, but which lays them out side-by-side like a traditional PC board, only smaller. However, by 2023 stacked die using through-silicon-vias (TSVs) will be commonplace, such as the Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) developed by Micron. Initially the bottom logic layer will be manufactured by IBM and shipped to Micron for stacking memory die. The HMC is being promoted by a consortium whose members include Altera, ARM, HP, IBM, Micron, Microsoft, Open Silicon, Samsung, SK Hynix and Xilinx.
Nice list... how ever, I object to your statement that "3-D chips are one of those perennially "almost there" technologies..."; they are here NOW! Samsung already introduced a 8Gb version of RDRAM with TSV's. You can expect more product announcements in 2013.
Graphene, on the other hand is REALLY the 3-D chips are one of those perennially "almost there" technologies! As to its heat spreading capabilities, there are circuit board technologies available today that use carbon composites for better thermal management (Stablecore for example).
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.