Research shows there could be no end in sight for Moore's Law

Dec 09, 2008

The fast pace of growing computing power could be sustained for many years to come thanks to new research from the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) that is applying advanced techniques to magnetic semiconductors.

Moore's Law observed that the density of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years. Components have shrunk over time to achieve this, but experts believed that when the characteristic transistor size reduces below ~ 20 nm, heating and quantum effects will become so severe that they will not be of practical use.

In a paper published in one of the most cited scientific journals, Nano Letters (ISI citation factor is 9.627), researchers at NPL looked at solutions to this problem as part of a project dealing with magnetic phenomena at reduced dimensions.

In the paper NPL's scientists reported on their research on single crystalline Mn-doped Ge nanowires that display ferromagnetism above 300 K and a superior performance with respect to the hole mobility of around 340 cm2/Vs and other industrially relevant parameters, demonstrating the potential of using these nanowires as building blocks for electronic devices.

Senior Research Scientist at NPL Dr Olga Kazakova said:

'The solution lies in changing not only the material but also the structure of our transistors. We have worked mainly with germanium nanowires that we have made magnetic. Magnetic semiconductors don't exist in nature, so they have to be artificially engineered. Germanium is closely compatible with silicon, meaning it can easily be used with existing silicon electronics without further redesign. The resulting transistors based on NPL's germanium nanowire technology, which could revolutionise computing and electronic devices, could realistically be 10 years away."

Source: National Physical Laboratory

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User comments : 12

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Alizee
Dec 09, 2008
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
nxtr
3.9 / 5 (7) Dec 09, 2008
I have always been skeptical of people who try to predict the future's versatility. "Moore's law is dead" is assigning no foresight to a problem. You don't know what the next guy will bring to the table, and to pretend you do sets you up to be wrong.
axemaster
4 / 5 (7) Dec 10, 2008
Well, Moore's Law will be dead at some point - there are physical limits to information density. Though we are nowhere near reaching them.

The next big thing to come out will be three dimensional chips, where the units in the layers are connected in a 3D matrix. That would increase the available computing space by a power of 1.
plasma_guy
5 / 5 (4) Dec 10, 2008
"Germanium is closely compatible with silicon, meaning it can easily be used with existing silicon electronics without further redesign."

Is this naivete or what?
nanomvp
5 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2008
Moore's Law is effectively dead, economically. Material changes, really... If it's only usable for one generation, it's not scalable (like Intel's 45 nm HKMG).
insectking
3.3 / 5 (4) Dec 10, 2008
Moore's Law isn't dead -- standard doped-silicon semi-conductors are dead.

I remember reading Kurzweil's theory that Moore's Law can be tracked backwards as part of general technological progress through the ages which includes current computing trends and assumes the exponential growth beyond our current point.
KBK
2.5 / 5 (4) Dec 10, 2008
In an inter-dimensional matrix within which we exist, when the access to other dimensions is considered to be 'vortex-like' in nature and not, shall we say.. evident in this universe--we therefore come to what would appear to be an infinite level of information density being possible. So Moore's law and beyond (raised to 'x' power) is more like the the more real situation -than anything else.
spice_guru
4.5 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2008
KBK, I have some swamp land to sell you in the sixth dimension.
darkmatter_s
1 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2008
I agree with KBK. It could certainly be possible to take advantage of the empty space inside the atom. However, there are many experiments to conduct before such ideas become technologically feasible...
Iron_John
5 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2008
spice_guru wrote:
KBK, I have some swamp land to sell you in the sixth dimension.

Spice, I'll buy that swamp, with sixth dimentional currency of course. [i]happen to exist contiguously in all dimentions of universe.

[/blockquote]
spice_guru
not rated yet Dec 17, 2008
Iron_John, with that many degrees of freedom you should save your 6-d currency to pay off your student loan.
Infinity3005
1 / 5 (1) Dec 26, 2008
O.k this subject on the matter of if Moore's law still lives, and if it will end. The answer is no it will not end, space is infinite within our universe. In other words there is no definite level to how far down you can go in the compression of information and space. The same thing applies on our plane of existence, there is no limit to how far out we can go out in our universe. Even if we did came to the ending of our universe, we would emerge in another universe out of ours. I have thus come to the conclusion that we just haven't caught up to the future technology in super optics technology to learn about new particles beyond the atomic structure and there are infinite number of new particles that hasn't been discovered yet. Yeah so Moore's law might have slowed down, thats because technology and discovery have slowed down but Moore's law still holds.
Fazer
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
Well, Moore's law applies to either the density or the total number of transistors on a chip, depending on who is interpreting the original statement made by Moore. If we cease to use transistors, as such, then Moore's law is dead.

If you apply it more loosely to processing power density, or else capacity, then we are only limitted by how small or how large we can conduct processing. Small might have a limit. Large only has a limit if, after transforming all matter and other usefull "stuff" into one big processing medium (as Kurzweil suggests could happen), we fail to find other spaces. My bet is we WILL expand into any other dimensions or universes that exist. Either way, we've got a long way to go, and I am not in the least bit worried about running out of Moore's Law steam any time soon.

Well, unless the EPA outlaws breathing.