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Intel Could Prolong Moore’s Law With New Materials, Transistors

IDG News Service (04/22/15) Agam Shah

Linley Group analyst David Kanter says Intel can keep Moore’s Law alive by making use of exotic materials and a new transistor design. Intel currently is manufacturing chips using 14-nanometer processes and is preparing to move production to a 10-nm process later this year or early next year. Many expect Moore’s Law, which says transistor density will double approximately every two years, to continue to hold true at least through the 7-nm process, which Kanter estimates will come online in 2017 or 2018. Beyond that horizon, he says Intel will have to turn to different materials and technology to continue to realize the gains predicted by Moore’s Law. Kanter expects Intel will start combining and eventually replacing silicon with other materials in the III-IV family, such as indium-gallium-arsenide. III-IV materials, which are based on elements from the third and fifth columns of the periodic table, are seen as successors to silicon because they are better conductors of electrons. Kanter says new transistor and gate structures based on quantum-well field-effect transistors also are likely to be important in future chips. He says these new materials and new technologies are the best options for continuing to increase transistor density.

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