Items tagged with Moore's Law

Three atoms thick. According to a paper published this week in the science journal Nature by a group of researchers from Cornell University, that is the breadth of the transistors that can now be produced using an experimental — and highly conductive — material called transition metal dichalcogenide (also called a TMD). We aren't talking five atoms thick, or even four (because any schmoe with a hobbyist chemistry set can do that), but transistors rendered at a thickness of just three atoms. As it applies to theoretical science and human achievement, the harnessing of TMD for practical use is quite... Read more...
The transistor is one of the most profound innovations in all of human existence. First discovered in 1947, it has scaled like no advance in human history; we can pack billions of transistors into complicated processors smaller than your thumbnail. After decades of innovation, however, the transistor has faltered. Clock speeds stalled in 2005 and the 20nm process node is set to be more expensive than the 28nm node was for the first time ever. Now, researchers at NASA believe they may have discovered a way to kickstart transistors again -- by using technology from the earliest days of computing: ... Read more...
Intel announced a major technology shift today in a move that fundamentally changes how the company will build transistors in the years to come. Starting with Ivy Bridge, Intel is adopting what it calls Tri-Gate (3D) transistors. Up to this point, Intel has relied on conventional bulk silicon, but its ability to scale this base technology is coming to an end. As processes shrink, it's become increasingly difficult to prevent current leakage. "For years we have seen limits to how small transistors can get," said Gordon E. Moore.  "This change in the basic structure is a truly revolutionary... Read more...
We don't know what to do with all the multi-core chips we already have, never mind the eight and sixteen core processors looming on the horizon. The software is not keeping pace with the hardware.  That realization is dawning over all the big players in computer chip design and tech educators. Think tanks dedicated to parallel computing are being founded and funded at numerous prestigious universities, including Stanford University, with support from all the big chip players, hoping to close the gap between the silicon and the ones and zeros. The Stanford lab, which will cost $6 million over... Read more...
IBM has announced a new breakthrough in chip-stacking technology in a manufacturing environment that paves the way for three-dimensional chips... "The IBM breakthrough enables the move from horizontal 2-D chip layouts to 3-D chip stacking, which takes chips and memory devices that traditionally sit side by side on a silicon wafer and stacks them together on top of one another. The result is a compact sandwich of components that dramatically reduces the size of the overall chip package and boosts the speed at which data flows among the functions on the chip."The release states that IBM is already... Read more...
Hewlett-Packard researchers realized they could pack more transistors on a chip, without shrinking them, simply by moving their connections to a nano-wire grid on top of them and packing more of them in the space they saved. "For a long time, we in the industry have been obsessed with this idea that higher capacity [chips] and lower cost equals smaller transistors, and we've been investing the bulk of our efforts in this area," says Stanley Williams, senior fellow and director of quantum-science research at HP Labs. The new research, Williams... Read more...
Multicore chips are a kind of cheating as far as Moore's Law goes. You're bringing a gang to the fight for faster processors. The battle to store the information those chips handle is where a lot of the action is now. Wired took a tour at Seagate's R and D labs, and they're talking about terabits per inch now: Their current solution to this problem is recording data perpendicular to the plane of the media. This technology, however, is expected to peak out at about 1 terabit per square inch. In the next decade, Seagate plans to hit the market with twin technologies that could fly... Read more...
For all you computer engineers out there, this may come as a shock:  Moore's Law is dead according to the man himself.  All those years of "the number of transistors on a die will double every 18mo" beaten into your heads is all for naught.  Truth be told, the real reason for the death of Moore's Law has to do with the instability introduced in current transistor technology at higher frequencies.  To compensate, chips have gone horizontal.  Rather than increasing the frequency to produce better performance, manufacturers are increasing the transistor... Read more...
Moore's Law, for all of you folks that think overclocking is sleeping late and driving to work faster, is the rule of thumb that computing power will double every eighteen months or so. It's seems to have been stuck a bit lately, and everyone was wondering where the next goose your chip needs -- to show you glistening beads of sweat on cheerleaders in future versions of Madden Football, instead of four pixels per nose--is going to come from. Well, laser beams running around inside your chip might do it:  Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based... Read more...