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Opinion: Saving Moore's Law

Posted: 12 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Moore's law? UV? deep immersion? IC die-area savings lower power consumption?

Moore's law has started to lose steam in a big way. A primary culprit to this has been the delayed introduction of the next generation of UV lithography. However, a way to save it from an industry-disrupting demise is if manufacturing process technology developers to make a series of changes at a given node Csay 20nm- 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 labelled 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 label.

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.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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