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Advanced Chips: Technology Advances Despite a Slowing Moore’s Law

By Dick Weisinger

For 50 years, Moore’s Law has predicted that silicon chips would double in their performance and functionality every two years. This has been aided by advances in silicon lithography, allowing chips to be produced every smaller and smaller. But as the size of chip transistors reaches atomic levels, Moore’s Law as we have known it is coming to an end.

But that doesn’t mean that our abilility to build better computer hardware has come to a stop. New technologies are being used to build chips with lower power consumption, greater modularity, faster switching, and the ability to be more easily customed and optimized for specific applications, like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Ed Seng, product marketing manager at Teradyne, wrote in an EETimes article that “even in a post–Moore’s law world, semiconductor technology continues to advance, seeking to yield improvements and pivoting into new technical directions, such as the advanced packaging of multiple heterogenous integrated semiconductor dies, or chiplets. The result is new manufacturing processes that add complexity and defectivity — making test a key component for success. Advanced packaging continues the benefits of Moore’s Law in ways other than just scaling fab process nodes. Disaggregating functions, the opposite of the monolithic SoC approach, allows for focusing advanced fab process design on just the core compute and accelerators, thus saving design effort and cost by not changing other functions.”

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