30 Dec '11, 6pm

3-D Chips Grow Up

The integrated circuit could use a lift. Almost 50 years after Gordon Moore forecast the path toward faster, cheaper chips, we've miniaturized electronic components so much that we're increasingly colliding with fundamental physical limitations. The days of simple transistor scaling are long behind us—the latest, greatest chips are a hodgepodge of materials and design tweaks. These chips also leak a lot of power, and they contain transistors that are so variable in quality they're difficult to run as intended. Fortunately, chipmakers are pursuing a pair of innovations that will give dramatic boosts in the two categories that really count: performance and power consumption. In both cases, the trick will be to build up and into the third dimension. And manufacturers will do it at the level of both the individual transistor and the full microchip. In 2012, the chip will start...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/3d-chips-...

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