Moore’s Law, that has guided the development of semiconductors for decades looks to be on its last legs. The 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) has predicted that it will no longer be economically viable for companies to continue shrinking the size of transistors in 2020; which will lead to the rise of other technological solutions.
This new roadmap does not entirely signal the death of Moore’s Law, rather it introduces yet another change to the prediction. Moore’s Law predicts that the number of transistors in a microprocessor will double every 18 months. For years, this has meant that the size of the transistors used shrinks and allows engineers to squeeze more of them onto the die. It was also tied to the dropping cost of producing a single transistor.
In a short four years, this practice may no longer be economically viable. Instead, the ITRS believes that manufacturers will turn to vertical stacking solutions to increase the number of transistors. As a result of this, it also believes that the current FinFET design will make way for a more vertical stacking style of transistor that uses materials other than silicon.
That being said, manufacturers could still potentially stick to shrinking transistors if they believe there are benefits to it.
One other major ITRS change is the report itself, which will no longer be published. The group, which was founded to help guide the microprocessor growth across the world has cited reduced participation from members. This is a result of companies preferring to pursue other initiatives. In other words, each company wants to be able to do its own thing; and we are headed into uncharted waters from here on out.
[Source: Spectrum IEEE]