Eventually, the conventional ways of manufacturing microprocessors, graphics chips, and other silicon components will run out of steam. According to Intel researchers speaking at the ISSCC conference this week, however, we still have headroom for a few more years.
Intel plans to present several papers this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, one of the key academic conferences for papers on chip design. Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr will also appear on a panel Monday night to discuss the challenges of moving from today’s 14nm chips to the 10nm manufacturing node and beyond.
In a conference call with reporters, Bohr said that Intel believes that the current pace of semiconductor technology can continue beyond 10nm technology (expected in 2016) or so, and that 7nm manufacturing (expected in 2018) can be done without moving to expensive, esoteric manufacturing methods like ultraviolet lasers.