The semiconductor industry is getting harder and it’s true that Moore’s Law is over, chip designer Arm admits, but the company says it doesn’t care because there is still plenty of room for innovation.
There is a bit of a stretch in CMOS semiconductor technology, argues Mike Muller, Arm’s co-founder and CTO at the Arm Research Summit, which is taking place in Cambridge. “Moore’s Law is slowing down, Moore’s Law is dead, Moore’s Law is over. It’s true, however you want to put it. But I don’t care. Poor doesn’t matter,” said the tech chief. according to IOT Insights.
According to Muller, 70 to 80 percent of the Arm chips go to embedded systems, where there is still plenty of ground to be explored in the field of chip production technology. Embedded chips are usually not based on the latest chip process, but are generations behind.
There is also a positive point with regard to the latest chip node generations, according to the cto, as production will become cheaper over time. It is the switch to smaller and smaller nodes that costs more and more money. For example, Intel is having great difficulty switching from 14nm to 10nm cost-efficiently, but the downside is that 14nm production has now been optimized with high yields and relatively low costs.
Muller also thinks that there are many benefits to be gained from stacking chipdies. According to him, there is still many years of innovation possible with 3D chips. Furthermore, the industry would have to think in a different way to deal with the computational problems of, for example, machine learning, other than brute force and increasing the number of transistors.
Finally, he thinks that in the next five years new techniques will emerge that will take the industry beyond cmos. He mentions neuromorphic chips, spintronics and quantum photonics as examples. “Our work is getting more difficult, but from the consumer’s point of view there will be no delay. They will get more and more performance,” he concludes.