It has been 50 years since Intel founder Gordon Moore first articulated Moore's Law, the axiom that transistor density doubles about every 18 months. For half a century, Moore's Law has largely held true, but recently concerns about the physical limits of silicon chip manufacturing and issues with the latest 14-nanometer chips have raised questions about whether Moore's Law will continue to hold true. However, papers Intel plans to share at this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco are meant to reassure the computer industry about the law's viability at least for the immediate future.
Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr says the company is learning from the delays it experienced with its 14nm chips and does not expect them to be repeated with the upcoming 10nm generation, which is expected in 2016. "I think we may have underestimated the learning rate--when you have a technology that adds many more masks, as 14[nm] did...it takes longer to execute experiments in the fab and get information turned, as we describe it," Bohr says.
He notes Intel's 10nm manufacturing line is already running 50-percent faster than the 14nm line in terms of major steps per day. Bohr also says 7nm chips can be made without upgrading to expensive, esoteric manufacturing techniques.
From PC World
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