Engineers see many options to create 5-, 3- and even 2-nanometer semiconductor process technologies but they will have trouble getting performance improvements as things are made smaller.
They are looking at trying to getting the last 10-40% of improvements in power usage and performance.
Need to change to different transistor architectures
Versions of today’s FinFET transistors will be used down to the 5-nm node, said technologists from Synopsys and Samsung on the panel. Below a width of about 3.5 nm, FinFETs will hit a hard limit.
Designers will need to transition to a stack of probably three thin horizontal nanowires sometimes called nano-slabs, said Victor Moroz, a fellow and transistor expert at Synopsys. For its part, Samsung has announced plans to use a gate-all-around transistor for a 4-nm process that it aims to have in production by 2020.
Heroic and uncertain efforts and new materials to improve chip performance
Foundries are finding ways to scale different cells at different rates, and EDA vendors promise improved routing, perhaps with help from extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV).
Moroz of Synopsys said that engineers are also exploring many techniques to reduce resistance on metal lines that could open a door to speed gains. They include new structures such as via ladders and super-vias that span multiple metal layers as well as use of new materials such as cobalt and ruthenium.
Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com
, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.