On Sunday in early July, Intel organized an event to celebrate how the exponential upgrade of the chip industry over the past 50 years has fueled the advancement of technology and society. – and here, the giant chip maker claims that it is not over.
"It will continue to grow"Jim Keller, the new semiconductor expert joined Intel last year as a vice president of silicon engineering, and co-organizer."Moore's Law is not weak. "He added.
The statement is made with a clear message: Intel, the chip industry that is already in trouble, can still bring big growth to the chip industry as they did in the past half century. Keller, a veteran of the chip industry, helped shift the trajectory of companies like Apple and Tesla before joining Intel.
Jim Keller, a veteran chip expert, used to design chips in a number of companies, such as AMD, Apple and Tesla.
Intel struggled to find its role again
Despite losing the opportunity to provide chips for mobile devices, Intel is still dominating the chip market for cloud computing servers, but their two latest generation chips are all delayed compared to original route.
And yet, in April, the company announced to give up the development of the 5G wireless chip, completely away from the next wave of mobile technology and put an end to the agreement to put an Intel modem on Apple's iPhone. Over the next month, Intel told investors that they expected profit margins on each product to decline over the next two years.
This bad news was not discussed during the Sunday event, with the main topic of that day being Intel and Moore's Law. For decades, Intel has maintained a rising pace by inventing new materials, new manufacturing techniques and designing transistors that are getting smaller and smaller. But until recently, this pace has slowed and the future of Intel and the computing industry are becoming less interconnected.
Intel's 14nm and 10nm chips are slower than the company's original roadmap.
The company's latest generation of chip technology on the market is 14nm processes, which has been available since 2015, a year later than the roadmap. The next generation, the 10nm process chip, is also unable to make a debut compared to the original schedule. Meanwhile, TSMC has shipped chips with Intel's equivalent technology since last year, on chips in the iPhone.
In 2016, the ITRS report, which had long been a guide for the semiconductor industry in maintaining Moore's Law, gave up the old definition of chip process and switched to a new way. Analysts and the media – even some CEOs in the semiconductor industry – also think that the end of Moore's law is close.
Moore's law does not die, but it will go the other way
But Mr. Keller did not agree like that: "The title of this talk is "Moore's Law is not dead and you will be foolish to think so"." Keller asserts that Intel can continue to move forward and provide technology companies with more computing power. Part of his argument lies in redefining Moore's Law.
"I don't care too much about the aspect of narrowing the transistor of Moore's Law – I am interested in technology and physics trends as well as the metaphysics around it.. "Mr. Keller said."Moore's Law is a collective illusion shared by millions of people. "
Concept design of Lakefield, with transistor layers overlapped.
Mr. Keller said Intel could maintain that illusion, but shrinking the transistor would only be part of it. As usual, he emphasized Intel's research on EUV ultraviolet ray technology, which could create even smaller lines on the chip, and smaller transistor designs based on wires Nanometers will come out in the coming 2020s.
Keller also said that Intel would need some other tactics, such as building chips vertically, creating overlapping transistor layers or chips. He said this approach would help reduce power consumption by shortening the distance between different parts of the chip.
Keller said that by using nanowires and transistor overlays, his team found a way to encapsulate transistors with a density 50 times higher than current 10nm chip technology. Intel. He said: "Basically, it will work. "
In January this year, Intel demonstrated a new chip design called Lakefield, with multiple chips stacked on top of each other to bring more computing power into a given space. The company is also on the way to a new direction in chip manufacturing – with a Lego-style approach – when modules, otherwise known as chiplets, will be combined to make chip development faster.
Does this mean that chip advances will be more difficult, less predictable and more expensive than before? Instead of answering that question, Mr. Keller describes the future differently: "More weird and cool. "
Refer to Wired