Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Manufacturing/Packaging

Probing the macroeconomics side of Moore's Law

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Moore's Law? EUV? lithography? transistor? CMOS?

There is a resounding level of anxiety among industry leaders, manufacturers and customers when the topic of the prevailing state of global semiconductor market is brought to the table. Factor in the element of economics in the existing operations undertaken by various semiconductor companies and you are left with a bucketful of issues that need to be swiftly addressed with care and scrutiny.

The entire economic structure that was supposed to lead to next-generation manufacturing technologies like 450mm wafers, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, and transistor technology nodes below 14nm CMOS is on the verge of coming apart.

Whether it is transition to 450mm wafers, higher power requirements for EUV lithography, or shrinking transistor dimensions for keeping up with progress of Moore's Law, the problems facing the semiconductor ecosystem are essentially the same. Increased manufacturing costs that result in poor return on investment threaten our progress.

When I decided to author my newly released book Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival, I wanted to provide technology-based free-market solutions to a broader US economy, which is the epicentre of global capitalism. It was a daunting task for a person with just a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University, but no formal education in macroeconomics, to write a book on the macroeconomics of the microelectronics industry.

Today, my book is in the hands of not only engineers and scientists but also economists around the world. In addition to offering solutions for the revival of the US semiconductor industry and economy, I also provided a few insights for sustaining the progress of Moore's Law, along with major macroeconomic reforms in the US economy. These reforms can be applied across the world for sustainable economic progress of global economy and global semiconductor industry.

The call for a better EUV tool gets louder

Whether you take into consideration 450mm silicon wafers, EUV lithography improvements, or scaling transistor geometries, from an economic standpoint there is one thing that is common in all three, their respective contributions to the supply of silicon into the economy. While 450mm silicon wafers would increase the diameter of wafers for mass production to reduce the costs, the increased yield from larger wafer sizes contributes to an increased supply of silicon. When it comes to EUV, no one, including lithography systems maker ASML, has yet demonstrated an EUV tool capable of providing the necessary source power concentrations for sustaining production volumes.

This progress of EUV lithography would again make a contribution to only supply of silicon wafers. The relentless progress of Moore's Law since Gordon Moore made his famous observation in 1965 has essentially been reducing manufacturing costs by scaling geometries, thereby reducing prices for consumers while providing silicon with higher performance.

The progress of Moore's Law has essentially been the progress of supply-side economics. There has been little to no incentive to boost consumer demand in the US as well as global economy besides luring consumers into an unsustainable debt. The term "supply-side economics" was thought, for some time, to have been coined by journalist Jude Wanniski in 1975, but this term "supply side" ("supply-side fiscalists") was first used by Herbert Stein, a former economic adviser to President Nixon, in 1976, and only later that year was this term repeated by Jude Wanniski.

1???2?Next Page?Last Page

Article Comments - Probing the macroeconomics side of M...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top