New CMOS process arrives

— 2:36 AM on April 12, 2001

ABC News is reporting, under the seemingly inappropriate title of "The Superchip," that the breakthrough in the next CMOS process to carry Moore's Law forward has arrived.

Many of you who have an ear to the enthusiast community had no doubt heard that traditional manfacturing processes were going to hit a size limit in the next five years or so. The inability to continue to reduce die sizes could stifle, but not stop the industry all together - there is more to clockspeed and computing power than simply the process the chip is built on. However, without continued die shrinkage, heat and power demands could make things more difficult, not to mention the fact that die shrinkage is necessary for such fanciful science fiction technology as nano-bots or nanonites.

I'll let the engineers debate that one. In the meantime, let's look at some of the more interesting points.

"Scientists at the Sandia lab had come up with this technique while researching the response of different materials to the high-energy pulses envisioned for the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative."
Nice to see the massive amount of money sunk into the "Star Wars" initiative will finally find its way back into the hands of consumers. Then again, this seems to be an inevitable course for all military technology.
The new technology is the result of a one-of-a-kind, five-year, quarter-billion-dollar joint venture by the nation's leading chip makers — Intel, AMD, Motorola, Micron and Infineon — and the three national labs.
As greedy as this industry is about Intellectual Property, it certainly has a odd streak of cooperation and sharing at times.

Its time to sit back and be amazed folks. Multi-gigahertz chips are on the horizon and the term "megahertz," in relation to processors, will soon be deprecated.

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