Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and CEO of Intel, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuitand projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade. In 1975, looking forward to the next decade, he revised the forecast to doubling every two years. The period is often quoted as 18 months because of a prediction by Intel executive David House (being a combination of the effect of more transistors and the transistors being faster).
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material usually with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals controls the current through another pair of terminals. Because the controlled (output) power can be higher than the controlling (input) power, a transistor can amplify a signal. Today, some transistors are packaged individually, but many more are found embedded in integrated circuits.
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material that is normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, cheaper, and faster than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC's mass production capability, reliability and building-block approach to circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.
Gordon Earle Moore is an American businessman, engineer, and the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Intel Corporation. He is also the author of Moore's law. As of 2018, Moore's net worth is reported to be $9.5 billion.
Moore's prediction proved accurate for several decades and has been used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.Advancements in digital electronics are strongly linked to Moore's law: quality-adjusted microprocessor prices, memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras. Digital electronics has contributed to world economic growth in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Moore's law describes a driving force of technological and social change, productivity, and economic growth.
A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a metal, like copper, gold, etc. and an insulator, such as glass. Their resistance decreases as their temperature increases, which is behaviour opposite to that of a metal. Their conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by the deliberate, controlled introduction of impurities ("doping") into the crystal structure. Where two differently-doped regions exist in the same crystal, a semiconductor junction is created. The behavior of charge carriers which include electrons, ions and electron holes at these junctions is the basis of diodes, transistors and all modern electronics. Some examples of semiconductors are silicon, germanium, and gallium arsenide. After silicon, gallium arsenide is the second most common semiconductor used in laser diodes, solar cells, microwave frequency integrated circuits, and others. Silicon is a critical element for fabricating most electronic circuits.
Research and development, also known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), refers to innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, or improving existing services or products. Research and development constitutes the first stage of development of a potential new service or the production process.
A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits. The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output. Microprocessors contain both combinational logic and sequential digital logic. Microprocessors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary number system.
Moore's law is an observation and projection of a historical trend and not a physical or natural law. Although the rate held steady from 1975 until around 2012, the rate was faster during the first decade. In general, it is not logically sound to extrapolate from the historical growth rate into the indefinite future. For example, the 2010 update to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors predicted that growth would slow around 2013,and in 2015 Gordon Moore foresaw that the rate of progress would reach saturation: "I see Moore's law dying here in the next decade or so."
Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity. Observations can be qualitative, that is, only the absence or presence of a property is noted, or quantitative if a numerical value is attached to the observed phenomenon by counting or measuring.
Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and most commonly by analysis of trends. A commonplace example might be estimation of some variable of interest at some specified future date. Prediction is a similar, but more general term. Both might refer to formal statistical methods employing time series, cross-sectional or longitudinal data, or alternatively to less formal judgmental methods. Usage can differ between areas of application: for example, in hydrology the terms "forecast" and "forecasting" are sometimes reserved for estimates of values at certain specific future times, while the term "prediction" is used for more general estimates, such as the number of times floods will occur over a long period.
A physical law or a law of physics is a statement "inferred from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present." Physical laws are typically conclusions based on repeated scientific experiments and observations over many years and which have become accepted universally within the scientific community. The production of a summary description of our environment in the form of such laws is a fundamental aim of science. These terms are not used the same way by all authors.
Intel stated in 2015 that the pace of advancement has slowed, starting at the 22 nm feature width around 2012, and continuing at 14 nm.Brian Krzanich, the former CEO of Intel, announced, "Our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two." Intel also stated in 2017 that hyperscaling would be able to continue the trend of Moore's law and offset the increased cadence by aggressively scaling beyond the typical doubling of transistors. Krzanich cited Moore's 1975 revision as a precedent for the current deceleration, which results from technical challenges and is "a natural part of the history of Moore's law".
Brian Matthew Krzanich is an American engineer and businessman currently serving as the chief executive officer of CDK Global. He served as the CEO of Intel from 2013 until his resignation in 2018, following revelations of an extramarital affair with a subordinate. He joined the company as an engineer in 1982 and served as chief operating officer (COO) before being promoted to CEO. As CEO, Krzanich was credited for diversifying Intel's product offerings and workforce. Krzanich has served on the Deere & Co. and Semiconductor Industry Association boards, as well as the Drone Advisory Committee, which advises the Federal Aviation Administration. He resigned on June 21, 2018, after a past consensual relationship with a subordinate against company policy came to light.
In 1959, Douglas Engelbart discussed the projected downscaling of integrated circuit size in the article "Microelectronics, and the Art of Similitude".Engelbart presented his ideas at the 1960 International Solid-State Circuits Conference, where Moore was present in the audience.
Douglas Carl Engelbart was an American engineer and inventor, and an early computer and Internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on founding the field of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, which resulted in creation of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces. These were demonstrated at The Mother of All Demos in 1968. Engelbart's law, the observation that the intrinsic rate of human performance is exponential, is named after him.
International Solid-State Circuits Conference is a global forum for presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and Systems-on-a-Chip. The Conference offers a unique opportunity for engineers working at the cutting edge of IC design to maintain technical currency, and to network with leading experts. It is held every year in February at the San Francisco Marriott hotel in downtown San Francisco. ISSCC is sponsored by IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society.
For the thirty-fifth anniversary issue of Electronics magazine, which was published on April 19, 1965, Gordon E. Moore, who was working as the director of research and development at Fairchild Semiconductor at the time, was asked to predict what was going to happen in the semiconductor components industry over the next ten years. His response was a brief article entitled, "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits".Within his editorial, he speculated that by 1975 it would be possible to contain as many as 65,000 components on a single quarter-inch semiconductor.
Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. was an American semiconductor company based in San Jose, California. Founded in 1957 as a division of Fairchild Camera and Instrument, it became a pioneer in the manufacturing of transistors and of integrated circuits. Schlumberger bought the firm in 1979 and sold it to National Semiconductor in 1987; Fairchild was spun off as an independent company again in 1997. In September 2016, Fairchild was acquired by ON Semiconductor.
The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year. Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years.
His reasoning was a log-linear relationship between device complexity (higher circuit density at reduced cost) and time.
At the 1975 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, Moore revised the forecast rate.Semiconductor complexity would continue to double annually until about 1980 after which it would decrease to a rate of doubling approximately every two years. He outlined several contributing factors for this exponential behavior:
Shortly after 1975, Caltech professor Carver Mead popularized the term "Moore's law".
Despite a popular misconception, Moore is adamant that he did not predict a doubling "every 18 months". Rather, David House, an Intel colleague, had factored in the increasing performance of transistors to conclude that integrated circuits would double in performance every 18 months.
Moore's law came to be widely accepted as a goal for the industry, and it was cited by competitive semiconductor manufacturers as they strove to increase processing power. Moore viewed his eponymous law as surprising and optimistic: "Moore's law is a violation of Murphy's law. Everything gets better and better."The observation was even seen as a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, the rate of improvement in physical dimensions known as Dennard scaling has slowed in recent years; and the industry shifted in about 2016 from using semiconductor scaling as a driver to more of a focus on meeting the needs of major computing applications.
In April 2005, Intel offered US$10,000 to purchase a copy of the original Electronics issue in which Moore's article appeared.An engineer living in the United Kingdom was the first to find a copy and offer it to Intel.
As the cost of computer power to the consumer falls, the cost for producers to fulfill Moore's law follows an opposite trend: R&D, manufacturing, and test costs have increased steadily with each new generation of chips. Rising manufacturing costs are an important consideration for the sustaining of Moore's law.This had led to the formulation of Moore's second law, also called Rock's law, which is that the capital cost of a semiconductor fab also increases exponentially over time.
Numerous innovations by scientists and engineers have sustained Moore's law since the beginning of the integrated circuit (IC) era. Some of the key innovations are listed below, as examples of breakthroughs that have advanced integrated circuit technology by more than seven orders of magnitude in less than five decades:
Computer industry technology road maps predicted in 2001 that Moore's law would continue for several generations of semiconductor chips. Depending on the doubling time used in the calculations, this could mean up to a hundredfold increase in transistor count per chip within a decade. The semiconductor industry technology roadmap used a three-year doubling time for microprocessors, leading to a tenfold increase in a decade.Intel was reported in 2005 as stating that the downsizing of silicon chips with good economics could continue during the following decade, and in 2008 as predicting the trend through 2029.
One of the key challenges of engineering future nanoscale transistors is the design of gates. As device dimension shrinks, controlling the current flow in the thin channel becomes more difficult. Compared to FinFETs, which have gate dielectric on three sides of the channel, gate-all-around structure has ever better gate control.
Revolutionary technology advances may help sustain Moore's law through improved performance with or without reduced feature size.
While physical limits to transistor scaling such as source-to-drain leakage, limited gate metals, and limited options for channel material have been reached, new avenues for continued scaling are open. The most promising of these approaches rely on using the spin state of electron spintronics, tunnel junctions, and advanced confinement of channel materials via nano-wire geometry. A comprehensive list of available device choices shows that a wide range of device options is open for continuing Moore's law into the next few decades.Spin-based logic and memory options are being developed actively in industrial labs, as well as academic labs.
The vast majority of current transistors on ICs are composed principally of doped silicon and its alloys. As silicon is fabricated into single nanometer transistors, short-channel effects adversely change desired material properties of silicon as a functional transistor. Below are several non-silicon substitutes in the fabrication of small nanometer transistors.
One proposed material is indium gallium arsenide, or InGaAs. Compared to their silicon and germanium counterparts, InGaAs transistors are more promising for future high-speed, low-power logic applications. Because of intrinsic characteristics of III-V compound semiconductors, quantum well and tunnel effect transistors based on InGaAs have been proposed as alternatives to more traditional MOSFET designs.
Research is also showing how biological micro-cells are capable of impressive computational power[ clarification needed ] while being energy efficient.
Various forms of graphene are being studied for graphene electronics, eg. Graphene nanoribbon transistors have shown great promise since its appearance in publications in 2008. (Bulk graphene has a band gap of zero and thus cannot be used in transistors because of its constant conductivity, an inability to turn off. The zigzag edges of the nanoribbons introduce localized energy states in the conduction and valence bands and thus a bandgap that enables switching when fabricated as a transistor. As an example, a typical GNR of width of 10 nm has a desirable bandgap energy of 0.4eV. ) More research will need to be performed, however, on sub 50 nm graphene layers, as its resistivity value increases and thus electron mobility decreases.
Most semiconductor industry forecasters, including Gordon Moore,expect Moore's law will end by around 2025.
In April 2005, Gordon Moore stated in an interview that the projection cannot be sustained indefinitely: "It can't continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you push them out and eventually disaster happens." He also noted that transistors eventually would reach the limits of miniaturization at atomic levels:
In terms of size [of transistors] you can see that we're approaching the size of atoms which is a fundamental barrier, but it'll be two or three generations before we get that far—but that's as far out as we've ever been able to see. We have another 10 to 20 years before we reach a fundamental limit. By then they'll be able to make bigger chips and have transistor budgets in the billions.
In 2016 the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, after using Moore's Law to drive the industry since 1998, produced its final roadmap. It no longer centered its research and development plan on Moore's law. Instead, it outlined what might be called the More than Moore strategy in which the needs of applications drive chip development, rather than a focus on semiconductor scaling. Application drivers range from smartphones to AI to data centers.
A new initiative for a more generalized roadmapping was started through IEEE's initiative Rebooting Computing, named the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS).
Technological change is a combination of more and of better technology. A 2011 study in the journal Science showed that the peak of the rate of change of the world's capacity to compute information was in 1998, when the world's technological capacity to compute information on general-purpose computers grew at 88% per year.Since then, technological change clearly has slowed. In recent times, every new year allowed humans to carry out roughly 60% more computation than possibly could have been executed by all existing general-purpose computers in the year before. This still is exponential, but shows that the rate of technological change varies over time.
The primary driving force of economic growth is the growth of productivity,and Moore's law factors into productivity. Moore (1995) expected that "the rate of technological progress is going to be controlled from financial realities". The reverse could and did occur around the late-1990s, however, with economists reporting that "Productivity growth is the key economic indicator of innovation."
An acceleration in the rate of semiconductor progress contributed to a surge in U.S. productivity growth,which reached 3.4% per year in 1997–2004, outpacing the 1.6% per year during both 1972–1996 and 2005–2013. As economist Richard G. Anderson notes, "Numerous studies have traced the cause of the productivity acceleration to technological innovations in the production of semiconductors that sharply reduced the prices of such components and of the products that contain them (as well as expanding the capabilities of such products)."
An alternative source of improved performance is in microarchitecture techniques exploiting the growth of available transistor count. Out-of-order execution and on-chip caching and prefetching reduce the memory latency bottleneck at the expense of using more transistors and increasing the processor complexity. These increases are described empirically by Pollack's Rule, which states that performance increases due to microarchitecture techniques approximate the square root of the complexity (number of transistors or the area) of a processor.
For years, processor makers delivered increases in clock rates and instruction-level parallelism, so that single-threaded code executed faster on newer processors with no modification.Now, to manage CPU power dissipation, processor makers favor multi-core chip designs, and software has to be written in a multi-threaded manner to take full advantage of the hardware. Many multi-threaded development paradigms introduce overhead, and will not see a linear increase in speed vs number of processors. This is particularly true while accessing shared or dependent resources, due to lock contention. This effect becomes more noticeable as the number of processors increases. There are cases where a roughly 45% increase in processor transistors has translated to roughly 10–20% increase in processing power.
A negative implication of Moore's law is obsolescence, that is, as technologies continue to rapidly "improve", these improvements may be significant enough to render predecessor technologies obsolete rapidly. In situations in which security and survivability of hardware or data are paramount, or in which resources are limited, rapid obsolescence may pose obstacles to smooth or continued operations.
Because of the toxic materials used in the production of modern computers, obsolescence, if not properly managed, may lead to harmful environmental impacts. On the other hand, obsolescence may sometimes be desirable to a company which can profit immensely from the regular purchase of what is often expensive new equipment instead of retaining one device for a longer period of time. Those in the industry are well aware of this, and may utilize planned obsolescence as a method of increasing profits.
Moore's law has affected the performance of other technologies significantly: Michael S. Malone wrote of a Moore's War following the apparent success of shock and awe in the early days of the Iraq War. Progress in the development of guided weapons depends on electronic technology.Improvements in circuit density and low-power operation associated with Moore's law also have contributed to the development of technologies including mobile telephones and 3-D printing.
Several measures of digital technology are improving at exponential rates related to Moore's law, including the size, cost, density, and speed of components. Moore wrote only about the density of components, "a component being a transistor, resistor, diode or capacitor",at minimum cost.
Transistors per integrated circuit – The most popular formulation is of the doubling of the number of transistors on integrated circuits every two years. At the end of the 1970s, Moore's law became known as the limit for the number of transistors on the most complex chips. The graph at the top shows this trend holds true today.
Density at minimum cost per transistor – This is the formulation given in Moore's 1965 paper.It is not just about the density of transistors that can be achieved, but about the density of transistors at which the cost per transistor is the lowest. As more transistors are put on a chip, the cost to make each transistor decreases, but the chance that the chip will not work due to a defect increases. In 1965, Moore examined the density of transistors at which cost is minimized, and observed that, as transistors were made smaller through advances in photolithography, this number would increase at "a rate of roughly a factor of two per year".
Dennard scaling – This suggests that power requirements are proportional to area (both voltage and current being proportional to length) for transistors. Combined with Moore's law, performance per watt would grow at roughly the same rate as transistor density, doubling every 1–2 years. According to Dennard scaling transistor dimensions are scaled by 30% (0.7x) every technology generation, thus reducing their area by 50%. This reduces the delay by 30% (0.7x) and therefore increases operating frequency by about 40% (1.4x). Finally, to keep electric field constant, voltage is reduced by 30%, reducing energy by 65% and power (at 1.4x frequency) by 50%.Therefore, in every technology generation transistor density doubles, circuit becomes 40% faster, while power consumption (with twice the number of transistors) stays the same.
The exponential processor transistor growth predicted by Moore does not always translate into exponentially greater practical CPU performance. Since around 2005–2007, Dennard scaling appears to have broken down, so even though Moore's law continued for several years after that, it has not yielded dividends in improved performance.The primary reason cited for the breakdown is that at small sizes, current leakage poses greater challenges, and also causes the chip to heat up, which creates a threat of thermal runaway and therefore, further increases energy costs.
The breakdown of Dennard scaling prompted a switch among some chip manufacturers to a greater focus on multicore processors, but the gains offered by switching to more cores are lower than the gains that would be achieved had Dennard scaling continued.In another departure from Dennard scaling, Intel microprocessors adopted a non-planar tri-gate FinFET at 22 nm in 2012 that is faster and consumes less power than a conventional planar transistor.
Quality adjusted price of IT equipment – The price of information technology (IT), computers and peripheral equipment, adjusted for quality and inflation, declined 16% per year on average over the five decades from 1959 to 2009.The pace accelerated, however, to 23% per year in 1995–1999 triggered by faster IT innovation, and later, slowed to 2% per year in 2010–2013.
The rate of quality-adjusted microprocessor price improvement likewise varies, and is not linear on a log scale. Microprocessor price improvement accelerated during the late 1990s, reaching 60% per year (halving every nine months) versus the typical 30% improvement rate (halving every two years) during the years earlier and later.Laptop microprocessors in particular improved 25–35% per year in 2004–2010, and slowed to 15–25% per year in 2010–2013.
The number of transistors per chip cannot explain quality-adjusted microprocessor prices fully.Moore's 1995 paper does not limit Moore's law to strict linearity or to transistor count, "The definition of 'Moore's Law' has come to refer to almost anything related to the semiconductor industry that when plotted on semi-log paper approximates a straight line. I hesitate to review its origins and by doing so restrict its definition."
Hard disk drive areal density – A similar observation (sometimes called Kryder's law) was made in 2005 for hard disk drive areal density.Several decades of rapid progress in areal density advancement slowed significantly around 2010, because of noise related to smaller grain size of the disk media, thermal stability, and writability using available magnetic fields.
Fiber-optic capacity – The number of bits per second that can be sent down an optical fiber increases exponentially, faster than Moore's law. Keck's law, in honor of Donald Keck.
Network capacity – According to Gerry/Gerald Butters,the former head of Lucent's Optical Networking Group at Bell Labs, there is another version, called Butters' Law of Photonics, a formulation that deliberately parallels Moore's law. Butters' law says that the amount of data coming out of an optical fiber is doubling every nine months. Thus, the cost of transmitting a bit over an optical network decreases by half every nine months. The availability of wavelength-division multiplexing (sometimes called WDM) increased the capacity that could be placed on a single fiber by as much as a factor of 100. Optical networking and dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) is rapidly bringing down the cost of networking, and further progress seems assured. As a result, the wholesale price of data traffic collapsed in the dot-com bubble. Nielsen's Law says that the bandwidth available to users increases by 50% annually.
Pixels per dollar – Similarly, Barry Hendy of Kodak Australia has plotted pixels per dollar as a basic measure of value for a digital camera, demonstrating the historical linearity (on a log scale) of this market and the opportunity to predict the future trend of digital camera price, LCD and LED screens, and resolution.
The great Moore's law compensator (TGMLC), also known as Wirth's law – generally is referred to as software bloat and is the principle that successive generations of computer software increase in size and complexity, thereby offsetting the performance gains predicted by Moore's law. In a 2008 article in InfoWorld, Randall C. Kennedy,formerly of Intel, introduces this term using successive versions of Microsoft Office between the year 2000 and 2007 as his premise. Despite the gains in computational performance during this time period according to Moore's law, Office 2007 performed the same task at half the speed on a prototypical year 2007 computer as compared to Office 2000 on a year 2000 computer.
Library expansion – was calculated in 1945 by Fremont Rider to double in capacity every 16 years, if sufficient space were made available.He advocated replacing bulky, decaying printed works with miniaturized microform analog photographs, which could be duplicated on-demand for library patrons or other institutions. He did not foresee the digital technology that would follow decades later to replace analog microform with digital imaging, storage, and transmission media. Automated, potentially lossless digital technologies allowed vast increases in the rapidity of information growth in an era that now sometimes is called the Information Age.
Carlson curve – is a term coined by The Economistto describe the biotechnological equivalent of Moore's law, and is named after author Rob Carlson. Carlson accurately predicted that the doubling time of DNA sequencing technologies (measured by cost and performance) would be at least as fast as Moore's law. Carlson Curves illustrate the rapid (in some cases hyperexponential) decreases in cost, and increases in performance, of a variety of technologies, including DNA sequencing, DNA synthesis, and a range of physical and computational tools used in protein expression and in determining protein structures.
Eroom's law – is a pharmaceutical drug development observation which was deliberately written as Moore's Law spelled backwards in order to contrast it with the exponential advancements of other forms of technology (such as transistors) over time. It states that the cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years.
Experience curve effects says that each doubling of the cumulative production of virtually any product or service is accompanied by an approximate constant percentage reduction in the unit cost. The acknowledged first documented qualitative description of this dates from 1885.A power curve was used to describe this phenomenon in a 1936 discussion of the cost of airplanes.
Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit (IC) by combining hundreds of thousands of transistors or devices into a single chip. VLSI began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were being developed. The microprocessor is a VLSI device. Before the introduction of VLSI technology most ICs had a limited set of functions they could perform. An electronic circuit might consist of a CPU, ROM, RAM and other glue logic. VLSI lets IC designers add all of these into one chip.
In semiconductor manufacturing, a low-κ is a material with a small relative dielectric constant relative to silicon dioxide. Although the proper symbol for the relative dielectric constant is the Greek letter κ (kappa), in conversation such materials are referred to as being "low-k" (low-kay) rather than "low-κ" (low-kappa). Low-κ dielectric material implementation is one of several strategies used to allow continued scaling of microelectronic devices, colloquially referred to as extending Moore's law. In digital circuits, insulating dielectrics separate the conducting parts from one another. As components have scaled and transistors have gotten closer together, the insulating dielectrics have thinned to the point where charge build up and crosstalk adversely affect the performance of the device. Replacing the silicon dioxide with a low-κ dielectric of the same thickness reduces parasitic capacitance, enabling faster switching speeds and lower heat dissipation.
Miniaturization is the trend to manufacture ever smaller mechanical, optical and electronic products and devices. Examples include miniaturization of mobile phones, computers and vehicle engine downsizing. In electronics, Moore's law, which was named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 18 months. This enables processors to be built in smaller sizes.
A Fin Field-effect transistor (FinFET) is a MOSFET built on a substrate where the gate is placed on two, three, or four sides of the channel or wrapped around the channel, forming a double gate structure. These devices have been given the generic name "finfets" because the source/drain region forms fins on the silicon surface. The FinFET devices have significantly faster switching times and higher current density than the mainstream CMOS technology.
The term high-κ dielectric refers to a material with a high dielectric constant κ. High-κ dielectrics are used in semiconductor manufacturing processes where they are usually used to replace a silicon dioxide gate dielectric or another dielectric layer of a device. The implementation of high-κ gate dielectrics is one of several strategies developed to allow further miniaturization of microelectronic components, colloquially referred to as extending Moore's Law.
The transistor count is the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (IC). Transistor count is the most common measure of IC complexity, although there are caveats. For instance, the majority of transistors are contained in the cache memories in modern microprocessors, which consist mostly of the same memory cell circuits replicated many times. The rate at which transistor counts have increased generally follows Moore's law, which observed that the transistor count doubles approximately every two years. As of 2017, the largest transistor count in a commercially available single-chip processor is 19.2 billion— AMD's Ryzen-based Epyc. In other types of ICs, such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), Xilinx's Everest/Versal has the largest transistor count, containing around 50 billion transistors.
Nanocomputer refers to a computer smaller than the microcomputer, which is smaller than the minicomputer.
SONOS, short for "silicon–oxide–nitride–oxide–silicon", more precisely, "polycrystalline silicon"—"silicon dioxide"—"silicon nitride"—"siicon dioxide"—"silicon", is a cross sectional structure of MOSFET, realized in late 70's. This structure is often used for non-volatile memories, such as EEPROM and flash memories. It is sometimes used for TFT LCD displays. It is one of CTF (charge trap flash) variants. It is distinguished from traditional non-volatile memory structures by the use of silicon nitride (Si3N4 or Si9N10) instead of "polysilicon-based FG (floating-gate)" for the charge storage material. A further variant is "SHINOS" ("silicon"—"hi-k"—"nitride"—"oxide"—"silicon"), which is substituted top oxide layer with high-κ material. Another advanced variant is "MONOS" ("metal–oxide–nitride–oxide–silicon"). Companies offering SONOS-based products include Cypress Semiconductor, Macronix, Toshiba, United Microelectronics Corporation and Floadia.
The 14 nanometer technology node is the successor to the 22 nm/(20 nm) node. The 14 nm was so named by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). One nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a meter. Until about 2011, the node following 22 nm was expected to be 16 nm. The first 14 nm scale devices were shipped to consumers by Intel in 2014.
A multigate device or multiple-gate field-effect transistor (MuGFET) refers to a MOSFET that incorporates more than one gate into a single device. The multiple gates may be controlled by a single gate electrode, wherein the multiple gate surfaces act electrically as a single gate, or by independent gate electrodes. A multigate device employing independent gate electrodes is sometimes called a multiple-independent-gate field-effect transistor (MIGFET).
Nanocircuits are electrical circuits operating on the nanometer scale. This is well into the quantum realm, where quantum mechanical effects become very important. One nanometer is equal to 10−9 meters or a row of 10 hydrogen atoms. With such progressively smaller circuits, more can be fitted on a computer chip. This allows faster and more complex functions using less power. Nanocircuits are composed of three different fundamental components. These are transistors, interconnections, and architecture, all fabricated on the nanometer scale.
The term die shrink refers to a simple semiconductor scaling of semiconductor devices, mainly transistors. The act of shrinking a die is to create a somewhat identical circuit using a more advanced fabrication process, usually involving an advance of lithographic node. This reduces overall costs for a chip company, as the absence of major architectural changes to the processor lowers research and development costs, while at the same time allowing more processor dies to be manufactured on the same piece of silicon wafer, resulting in less cost per product sold.
Semiconductor consolidation is the trend of semiconductor companies collaborating in order to come to a practical synergy with the goal of being able to operate in a business model that can sustain profitability.
In semiconductor manufacturing, the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems defines the 5 nanometer (5 nm) node as the technology node following the 7 nm node.
The Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits are two closely connected international conferences on semiconductor technology and circuits, thereby offering an opportunity to interact and synergize on topics of joint interest, spanning the range from process technology to systems-on-chip. The Symposia take place once a year around the middle of June at locations alternating between Kyoto, Japan and Honolulu, USA. They bring together managers, engineers, and scientists from industry and academia around the world to discuss challenges in manufacturing and design of Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) circuits. The Symposium on VLSI Technology started in 1981 while the Symposium on VLSI Circuits was established in 1987. Beside regular presentations of technical papers, the Symposia comprise short courses, panel sessions, and invited talks conducted by experts in the field from both Industry and Academia.
The IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) is an annual micro- and nanoelectronics conference held each December that serves as a forum for reporting technological breakthroughs in the areas of semiconductor and related device technologies, design, manufacturing, physics, modeling and circuit-device interaction.
Dennard scaling, also known as MOSFET scaling, is a scaling law based on a 1974 paper co-authored by Robert H. Dennard, after whom it is named. Originally formulated for MOSFETs, it states, roughly, that as transistors get smaller, their power density stays constant, so that the power use stays in proportion with area; both voltage and current scale (downward) with length.
In the electronics industry, dark silicon is the amount of circuitry of an integrated circuit that cannot be powered-on at the nominal operating voltage for a given thermal design power (TDP) constraint. This is a challenge in the era of nanometer semiconductor nodes, where transistor scaling and voltage scaling are no longer in line with each other, resulting in the failure of Dennard scaling. This discontinuation of Dennard scaling has led to sharp increases in power densities that hamper powering-on all the transistors simultaneously at the nominal voltage, while keeping the chip temperature in the safe operating range. According to recent studies, researchers from different groups have projected that, at 8 nm technology nodes, the amount of Dark Silicon may reach up to 50–80% depending upon the processor architecture, cooling technology, and application workloads. Dark Silicon may be unavoidable even in server workloads with abundance of inherent client request-level parallelism.
Beyond CMOS refers to the possible future digital logic technologies beyond the CMOS scaling limits which limits device density and speeds due to heating effects.
Just last quarter, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Moore's Law. In 1965 when Gordon's paper was first published, he predicted a doubling of transistor density every year for at least the next 10 years. His prediction proved to be right. In 1975, looking ahead to the next 10 years, he updated his estimate to a doubling every 24 months.
A decade later, he revised what had become known as Moore's Law: The number of transistors on a chip would double every two years.
1965: Moore's Law is born when Gordon Moore predicts that the number of transistors on a chip will double roughly every year (a decade later, revised to every 2 years)
Moore also affirmed he never said transistor count would double every 18 months, as is commonly said. Initially, he said transistors on a chip would double every year. He then recalibrated it to every two years in 1975. David House, an Intel executive at the time, noted that the changes would cause computer performance to double every 18 months.
technical progress in the semiconductor industry has continued to proceed at a rapid pace ... Advances in semiconductor technology have driven down the constant-quality prices of MPUs and other chips at a rapid rate over the past several decades.
We won't have the rate of progress that we've had over the last few decades. I think that's inevitable with any technology; it eventually saturates out. I guess I see Moore's law dying here in the next decade or so, but that's not surprising.
The last two technology transitions have signaled that our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two
It's official: Moore's Law is slowing down. ... "These transitions are a natural part of the history of Moore's Law and are a by-product of the technical challenges of shrinking transistors while ensuring they can be manufactured in high volume", Krzanich said.
... the rate of increase of complexity can be expected to change slope in the next few years as shown in Figure 5. The new slope might approximate a doubling every two years, rather than every year, by the end of the decade.
Year-over-year exponential computer performance scaling has ended. Complicating this is the coming disruption of the "technology escalator" underlying the industry: Moore's law.
chart: "Faith no Moore" Selected predictions for the end of Moore's law
... compared with −25% to −35% per year over 2004–2010, the annual decline plateaus around −15% to −25% over 2010–2013.
Currently 2.5-inch drives are at 500GB/platter with some at 600GB or even 667GB/platter – a long way from 20TB/platter. To reach 20TB by 2020, the 500GB/platter drives will have to increase areal density 44 times in six years. It isn't going to happen. ... Rosenthal writes: "The technical difficulties of migrating from PMR to HAMR, meant that already in 2010 the Kryder rate had slowed significantly and was not expected to return to its trend in the near future. The floods reinforced this."
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