To acknowledge the end of Moore's law is to acknowledge what most of the semi industry has known for the past decade - the business model made possible by scaling is now obsolete. More than Moore will be upon us all. Peter mentions low power since mobile is now king, but what if you aren't in the mobile market? I think there is room for many different kinds of innovation.
This does sound like smoke and mirrors, but Moore's law doesn't account for getting the same number of "better" things. For instance, if you get the same number of transistors as the last node but they use 50% less power, how do you measure that in terms of Moore's law? If you stack two chips on top of each other to get twice and many transistors in the same "space" does that count?
Precisely the type of dodgy thinking that led to the demise of British manufacturing industry since the '60s and their living off W. Europe and the US as low-cost English speakers, middle-men and parasites who lie to start wars.
EUV saturated so much of the total R&D spectrum that little bandwidth was left for alternative approaches. The decision to stick with EUV defies logic, especially in an industry that is so careful about managing risks. The fact that EUV sources are still at this late date 10 to 20 times too weak for HVM should indicate that the technology is not tractable. Furthermore, if a true 200 watt source was available for long term testing, the exposure tool would certainly have to undergo major changes to accommodate the thermal loading.
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.
There is a economics paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research by Robert J. Gordon titled "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds". This paper describes how Moore's Law fueled the third of three "industrial revolutions" and now that it is coming to a close, will result in a completely different worlds from an economic perspective. Interesting reading. I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but I do think he has captured what we've all been seeing in the electronics industry for the past five years.
Hi Kris, Here's a link for Gordon's paper, http://av.r.ftdata.co.uk/files/2012/08/IS-U.S.-ECONOMIC-GROWTH-OVER-FALTERING-INNOVATION-CONFRONTS.pdf
In my opinion, Gordon is way to pessimistic and his 100 year forecast just doesn't add up. He sounds like Hansen back in the 1930's who, with the passage of time, was proven wrong as well.
There is the other Moore's law: cost per acre of finished chip remains constant.
In some ways these are dual. As ways are found to reduce dimensions, and if that delivers functional benefits, then there will be a tendency to aim for similar costs to cram more function into the same size.
But as factors like power density, leakage, and other limits tend to eliminate the advantage of making smaller chips we could see a trend to making cheaper chips. After all, the Si only costs a few cents per sq cm. If it starts to make sense to produce each sq cm more cheaply (and tricks like vertical connection allow us to package them small and keep connection distance low) then we will continue to see increased functionality at falling cost.
Just like we have had tremendous functionality and even performance growth since GHz scaling stalled a decade ago, we will continue to see functional and performance growth for a long time even if feature size stalls. The ingenuity and competition will simply shift into other dimensions.
let's remember our history a little better: ML is not solely responsible for getting us this far. lots of design progress has let us use those extra devices: 16-32-64, onchip caches, pipelining, OOO, even multicore (surely the least creative way to sop up the area/gates!) what's really changed is that devices/area isn't the main concern any more. faster is always better, but now power efficiency is the primary driver (not that it was ever far from the front!)
The nature of Moores Law scaling is such that many of the proposed substitutes just don't cut it. Any incremental and most likely one time gains from 3d chips or carbon nanotubes or anything like that, pales in comparision to the gains in going from 180nm to 90nm to 45 nm etc.
Economicly this will be bad and we will go into a tech "dark ages" as there will be few new developments to spur investment and economic growth. Simply put why develop a new chip, if the new one cannot offer any more features? It ripples from there into vast swaths of the economy. We may get a short term bump in EE employment as the big players try to out design each other, but in the end the gains from doing that will by minimal. I think Intel knows this and that is way they are diversifying via there foundry ops to grap as much of the market share as possible when we get to the end.
Some of the predictions on this board seem overly dire to me. While the growth of vanilla CMOS ICs may slow somewhat, human imagination is not bound by Moore's law. There will be new technologies and new applications of existing technology to drive the economy.
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!