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IBM To Invest $3 Billion For Semiconductor Research

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the big-bucks dept.

IBM 68

Taco Cowboy points out that many news outlets are reporting that IBM plans to spend $3 billion on semiconductor research and development in the next five years. The first goal is to build chips whose electronic components, called transistors, have features measuring just 7 nanometers, the company announced Wednesday. For comparison, that distance is about a thousandth the width of a human hair, a tenth the width of a virus particle, or the width of 16 potassium atoms side by side. The second goal is to choose among a range of more radical departures from today's silicon chip technology -- a monumental engineering challenge necessary to sustain progress in the computing industry. Among the options are carbon nanotubes and graphene; silicon photonics; quantum computing; brainlike architectures; and silicon substitutes that could run faster even if components aren't smaller. "In the next 10 years, we believe there will be fundamentally new systems that are much more efficient at solving problems or solving problems that are unsolvable today," T.C. Chen, IBM Research's vice president of science and technology, told CNET

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transistor!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423325)

> ".. whose electronic components, called transistors .."

? what is this strange thing called "trenseeestooor"? Is it a small demon that lives in our iPads that herds the pixies that make our iPads work?

Re:transistor!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423549)

According to wagnerrp (a programmer), a transistor is a device that uses heat to modulate current flow.

Re: transistor!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424715)

And they're gonna make 'em the width of 16 opossums layed side by side!

Re:transistor!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425887)

>a device that uses heat to modulate current flow

by modulating the magic black smoke jammed into the device, at least unitl such time as the black smoke is released...

Comparisons (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423331)

The first goal is to build chips whose electronic components, called transistors, have features measuring just 7 nanometers, the company announced Wednesday. For comparison, that distance is about a thousandth the width of a human hair, a tenth the width of a virus particle, or the width of 16 potassium atoms side by side.

I'm pretty sure slashdot users who care about semiconductor announcements already have a sense of scale of transistors, so don't need this layman dumbing down. For reference, this is about half the size of Intels latest process.

Re:Comparisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425585)

The first goal is to build chips whose electronic components, called transistors, have features measuring just 7 nanometers, the company announced Wednesday. For comparison, that distance is about a thousandth the width of a human hair, a tenth the width of a virus particle, or the width of 16 potassium atoms side by side.

I'm pretty sure slashdot users who care about semiconductor announcements already have a sense of scale of transistors, so don't need this layman dumbing down. For reference, this is about half the size of Intels latest process.

Surface is divided by 2, not the length - which is divided by square root 2

Re:Comparisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47426493)

Personally, I was having a difficult time visualizing the size until "the width of 16 potassium atoms side by side." cleared it up for me. So they are like 5.02987747 × 10-18ths of the diameter of the sun.

Next Up: (3, Informative)

some old guy (674482) | about 3 months ago | (#47423353)

"IBM petitions Congress for increased H1B quota to support semiconductor research."

Re:Next Up: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423393)

Even while cutting their staff with a meat cleaver.

Not for this stuff. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423413)

This type of research actually takes very specific talents and long periods of education and study (like a PhD in semi conductor physics). Meaning, any H1-bs they get for this is actually legitimate - and the people they get probably won't even fall under the H1-b program anyway.

Re:Next Up: (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 3 months ago | (#47424135)

"IBM petitions Congress for increased H1B quota to support semiconductor research."

What makes you think any of that 3 billion would be spent in the US regardless?

As likely, the entire R&D unit has already been outsourced to India (or wherever).

Re:Next Up: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47426441)

IBM's semiconductor research is done in NY state.

Also - R&D is one of the last things sent abroad. You outsource things that are easy and repetitive - which R&D is not.

Re:Next Up: (1)

SemiChemE (3528759) | about 3 months ago | (#47427539)

Also - R&D is one of the last things sent abroad. You outsource things that are easy and repetitive - which R&D is not.

I've actually seen quite a bit of R&D work outsourced to Russia (to former nuclear scientists) and more recently India. However, usually, this is theoretical or modeling and simulation work that doesn't require significant investments in sensitive equipment or the infrastructure to support it. On the other hand, most of the work IBM is talking about appears to be in advanced materials science. which tends to be pretty equipment intensive and is thus unlikely to be moved from their current locations in the U.S. and Europe.

Re:Next Up: (1)

SemiChemE (3528759) | about 3 months ago | (#47427469)

What makes you think any of that 3 billion would be spent in the US regardless?

Well, the IBM press release specifically states the money will go to Yorktown and Albany, New York, Almaden, California, and Europe. (Most likely this means IBM-Zurich, where the Scanning-Tunelling Microscope or STM was invented).

Re:Next Up: (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 months ago | (#47501231)

What makes you think any of that 3 billion would be spent in the US regardless?

Well, the IBM press release specifically states the money will go to Yorktown and Albany, New York, Almaden, California, and Europe. (Most likely this means IBM-Zurich, where the Scanning-Tunelling Microscope or STM was invented).

I couldn't find that, so thank you -

On the other hand, last time I checked Europe wasn't in the US :-)

It would be interesting to know how much of the money is going where -

Nice but (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 3 months ago | (#47423439)

What have semiconductors been bringing us lately, besides the newest social apps and web-enabled office-collaboration bloatware?

Re:Nice but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423459)

Well, supercomputing allows us to do many simulations, which, for example, helps us predict the weather. And many, many more things.

Re:Nice but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425599)

And also more electrical simulations to do even better semiconductors to do even more electriccal simulations ...

Re:Nice but (3, Insightful)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 3 months ago | (#47423525)

Snarky comments on Slashdot.

Re:Nice but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424381)

Smaller and less power hungry controllers, sensors, ECUs, ever more efficient power transistors.
And the fresh-water system.

Re:Nice but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425695)

Dwarf Fortress.

Re:Nice but (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 3 months ago | (#47425707)

Light [cree.com] .

And who doesn't like anything that brings light [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Nice but (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 3 months ago | (#47431345)

Besides the battery life to enable people to get through all day on a laptop without plugging in, or multiple days on smartphones as powerful as laptops of 5 years ago?

Dumbed down summary (2)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 3 months ago | (#47423461)

This summary is targeted towards more of a layman's audience. I would imagine most Slashdot readers know that a transistor is an electrical component and that current technologies like Intel's Broadwell chips are at 14 nm. Really the title gives all the necessary information sans the tech jargon business fluff. I guess the question is if some of IBM's money is going to help ARM again [ibm.com] .

Re:Dumbed down summary (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | about 3 months ago | (#47423935)

>Implying Slashdot editors are in touch with its userbase

Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (2)

gelfling (6534) | about 3 months ago | (#47423475)

IBM chipfabs are a decade out of date. What they want is the patent portfolio and the people who created it. When IBM says they will 'invest' what they mean is that they will pay GF to design and make their chips for them.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 months ago | (#47423537)

Close. GF wants the IP and people for chip making. IBM wants the IP and people for chip designing.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47429349)

This is likely more correct. I see the oil industry close up, and everyone knows that the really big oil companies don't do any innovation. There are a thousand little companies that 'solve problems": remove sand, remove water, pump solution in, pump solution out, offer non-magnetic materials for remote sensing, offer remote sensors, ... thousands of specialty products for things you would never think of. And the chip making business is like that. There are a lot of vendors of hardware in the Netherlands that spend their days going from 32nm to 20nm to 14 nm to 9 nm to 7 nm to 5 nm. I remember years ago it was x-ray lithography. A few years ago, it was using a laser to reflect off a molten piece of dripping metal that gave off a (very) narrow beam... and it all sounds very exotic and extreme. And it is. Designing the chips (IBM or NVIDIA or AMD) is one job, designing the technology to make the chips is another job. Just like the oil business, most know that the big players don't make the tools, but they rely intensely on them.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#47423661)

Huh? The Power8 are 22nm same as Intel Haswell and frankly in most ways better than the Haswell.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (1)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 3 months ago | (#47423693)

POWER7 (2010) is at 45nm which is what Nehalem (2008) was. POWER8 is just coming out now and is 22nm which matches the current size of Intel's. They are a little behind in lithography but definitely not a decade. A decade behind would be 90nm.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 3 months ago | (#47423913)

No no not the CHIPS - the foundries which make them. A Korean chipfab or Intel for that matter, will invest more than a BILLION dollars a year in the manufacturing process just to keep current. IBM does not. This results in much higher costs per unit and a much higher reject rate.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (2)

SemiChemE (3528759) | about 3 months ago | (#47423951)

Don't forget Power7+ (2012), which came out at 32nm. Intel released their latest and greatest i7v2 series at 22nm in February. The highest end chips at a list price of ~$6K, just barely beat the performance of Power7+. IBM's Power8 chips were just released this month at 22nm. They roughly double the performance of Power7+, and have a 30-50% performance advantage over i7v2 in raw per core performance. They also have significantly more L3 and L4 cache per core, a better memory architecture, and significantly better multi-thread support (SMT). IBM says this can give a more than 80x benefit over x86 for some applications, and even more for memory intensive tasks. The bottom line, yes IBM is behind intel in litho node introduction, but is significantly ahead on the high-end server chip front. (It's much easier to release a low-end part at 14nm than a high end part.) Their East Fishkill fab is definitely not 10-years obsolete, in fact it should be capable of releasing 14nm chips in the near future and would not require major upgrades for the 10nm node.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424337)

Their East Fishkill fab is definitely not 10-years obsolete, in fact it should be capable of releasing 14nm chips in the near future and would not require major upgrades for the 10nm node.

Define "near future". Based on very reliable sources, I can tell you that the trip from 22 to 14nm is extremely arduous. Gooooood luck to all who make that journey.

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425121)

Anywhere called "East Fishkill" must make for a great tourist destination.

Fishkill name (2)

John Bayko (632961) | about 3 months ago | (#47425563)

The original Dutch settlers there named it "vis kill", or "fish creek". It's been anglicized.

Re:Fishkill name (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 months ago | (#47425709)

That didn't stop the buffoons in PETA from demanding they change the name (they helpfully suggested 'Fishsave'). Somehow they missed all the other 'kills' in NYS (Catskill, Otterkill, Freshkill, etc).

Re:Global Foundries doesn't want the chipfabs (1)

SemiChemE (3528759) | about 3 months ago | (#47425145)

Well, if they just released 22nm, Moore's law would predict a 14nm release in about 2 years, but from a fab equipment standpoint, they would already need to be working on it now, so most of the equipment is likely already in place today.

As for the difficulty of going from 22nm to 14nm, the scaling is not so much the problem. Rather, it's that everyone (except intel, who did it at 22nm) is transitioning from planar to finfet technology. You are absolutely correct that that transition is very challenging and could cause delays. But that's more about process readiness than equipment readiness. On the other hand, IBM has been working in collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung, both of whom are reportedly pretty far along on 14nm, so 14nm may be closer than some think.

Not possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423575)

We only have semiconductors because of space. If you want new chips, we need, NEED, to send people to the Moon or Mars!

Re:Not possible (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 months ago | (#47423905)

We only have semiconductors because of space.

Well, yea. But that stuff came from supernovae many billion years ago. We don't need space now to have semiconductors since that stuff, particular silicon won't go anywhere.

I suspect however that you are thinking that the US space program is responsible for semiconductors. That is nonsense. We would have them anyway even in the absence of contributions from any agency of the US including the Department of Defense (who was a far bigger contributor to IC R&D than NASA was by at least an order of magnitude). And the incentives to develop integrated circuits and CPUs would have resulted in pretty much what we have now, perhaps even further along since so the careers of so many intelligence,educated people were squandered on various white elephants between NASA and the US military.

Re:Not possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424295)

Luddite!!!!

Space Nutter Central Emergency! Someone has unplugged their implant from the Stream!

Send all the 1960s Space Age posters of Moon colonies and asteroid mining to Khallow's residence!!!

Re:Not possible (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 3 months ago | (#47424379)

The field effect transistor was invented in the 1920s. Point-contact transistors date from 1947, and conventional junction transistors from the 1950s.

Re:Not possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424509)

Another Luddite! Do you doubt the bounty of space and space spinoffs? We only have Tang and Velcro because of space! That's right, the next time you drink your refreshing sugar beverage and put on your bike shoes, you only have those because someone put a test pilot on the tip of an ICBM.

That's the logic of space. Comply or be modded down.

Re:Quantum Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424677)

Go to hell, QC. Nobody likes your crap. Go troll 4chan.

Re:Quantum Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424801)

QC? The entire province of Québec? Or just Québec City? Or maybe Quality Control? The hell with Quality Control!

And I don't like the crap that we only have technology because of space. Take that fantasy to hell as well.

Re:Not possible (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 months ago | (#47425105)

solid state *integrated circuit* tech was made for missile (defense and space) use first. Space program has indeed been a driver for that.

Re:Not possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425353)

What nonsense. Transistors were invented by a communication company and ICs were invented out of research for that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J... [wikipedia.org]

Fuck all to do with space. If anything, aeronautics for airplanes right here were much more a driver.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

Space was an incidental customer.

Where is the love for banks who were among the first to use computers privately?

Re:Not possible (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 months ago | (#47471171)

you are posting nonsense, with a link to a system in F-14. You are decades off. No, original solid state integrated circuits made at Texas Instruments were used in ICBM in late 50s

Space tech has driven electronic advances

Ms. Ginni Rometty - a tard (5, Informative)

Virtucon (127420) | about 3 months ago | (#47423643)

She's been driving IBM into the ground and even investors wonder if you can continue to cut your way to earnings. [netnetweb.com] IBM used to be a company that could and would compete in any market it chose, now it's a shell of its former self. Sad really when you think of the great things IBM has done, and the not so great. [wikipedia.org]

They've started entire industries and markets only to see them taken away by competitors because their executives weren't agile. In a lot of respects I think IBM will be gone in 10 years because of retarded management decision making and focusing too much on EPS.

Re:Ms. Ginni Rometty - a tard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423907)

Former IBM employee here. I cannot speak to Ms. Rometty's performance... I can tell you however that it was Sam Palmisano who began the most recent destruction of IBM. Mr. Gerstner had something going at IBM, then Sam took over and it started bleeding. Not bleeding in a way that investors would notice immediately, a slow bleed like a giant animal with a small wound. IBM has nothing new that people want. So every few years it sells some core business and rides a wave of cash until it can arrange the next selloff.

Re:Ms. Ginni Rometty - a tard (2)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 3 months ago | (#47424433)

Thanks to the proliferation of Ivy League business school education, this type of management style will continue to spread to every corner of corporate America.

Re:Ms. Ginni Rometty - a tard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47430139)

Thanks to the proliferation of Ivy League business school education, this type of management style will continue to spread to every corner of corporate America.

The current IBM CEO has a computer science degree from a non-ivy league school, not a business degree from an ivy league school. The previous IBM CEO has a history degree from a non-ivy league school, not a business degree from an ivy league school. The last IBM CEO who DID hold a business degree from an ivy league school (Gestner) saved IBM from going bankrupt - arguably at great expense, but still saved it.

I'm not trying to be an IBM fanboi here, but keep your facts straight. Their continued research into materials science / electrical engineering shows some promise (unlike HP). As a long-term investor, I'm still fairly worried about the current state of things due to the company's current business practicies. So I agree with GP, but not the parent.

Re:Ms. Ginni Rometty - a tard (1)

cyberhooligan77 (2612877) | about 3 months ago | (#47424439)

Right. IBM is a shadow of a former self. But, in many countries outside U.S., IBM, has locked customers, big companies, that still use IBM old machinery.

IBM, is one of those companies who will still loose a lot of its customers in the U.S., but, will keep on going, in other countries for decades.

In my country, IBM people is famous for been "old grumpy" men, like Steve Jobs, describe them. They do have junior executives, but, they are really "disguised old men", that come from Ivy League schools. They have some outsourcing companies, that pretend to be "cool" & "open minded", but, the old folks, are the ones who give the orders.

I have been in their offices, the senior ones, look taken from a movies fro the 70's. The rest are cubicles, and, their chairs, have holes of cigars, or moths. No kidding, I was there, I expected their offices, to be more clean.

potassium measure of unit (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 3 months ago | (#47423651)

well, 16 potassium atoms, well that clears things up.

Re:potassium measure of unit (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47423735)

well, 16 potassium atoms, well that clears things up.

It is odd that they use "potassium atoms" as a measurement for something made out of silicon. A silicon atom has a diameter of about 230pm, so 7nm is about 30 silicon atoms.

Re:potassium measure of unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47424263)

well, 16 potassium atoms, well that clears things up.

It is odd that they use "potassium atoms" as a measurement for something made out of silicon. A silicon atom has a diameter of about 230pm, so 7nm is about 30 silicon atoms.

Silicon is the substrate correct? So its a 7nm gap filled with copper. at 128pm that is roughly 54 copper atoms wide... ... now we see why they went with potassium. 16 sounds better (ie smaller) than 54 or even 30.

Re:potassium measure of unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425203)

I'm not sure why they used K as the unit of measure, but I think a good one to consider is the number of monolayers of Silicon, which is the base material (and the substrate). The layer spacing in Si is about 0.27 nm, so 7nm is in the neighborhood of 25 monolayers. And that's across, mind you; thicknesses are around 1.2 nm (5 monolayers).

What interests me here is that IBM is hesitating at saying anything about going lower than 7nm. That appears to be the standard sentiment in the industry [semiengineering.com] . Some are doubting even 7nm will be obtainable, while others are already planning for 1.5 nm. What's clear though is a lot of uncertainty about the very near future, and that we're about to hit bottom for current transistor technologies.

Whether or not it will happen is uncertain, but for now at least we're vaguely roadmapped to 3 nm by 2021 [semiengineering.com] . If 3 nm isn't the bottom, tho, it's very close, at only 11 monolayers of Si.

IBM is playing this exactly right. What we're looking at within the next 5 years, probably, and definitely within the decade, is a total shakeup of the hardware landscape, to be determined by the design of fundamentally different devices. R&D spending won't guarantee the winner, because it's still a pretty wide-open field, but it's something IBM must do.

Re:potassium measure of unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425665)

Even though the bulk of the chip is silicon, most technological processes use transistors which sit on doped substrates, and potasium is one of the dopants used. It is actually a really interesting information, since you start only with silicon under the gates of the transistors, then blast the entire wafer with a potassium atoms, and hope that the same number of atoms end up underneath the gates of each transistor. If there is a high variance in that number then your transistors will have an erratic behavior, hence be unreliable. This was not a problem in older processes since the gate was significantly bigger so the number of dopants kind of avereged out over the entire wafer. This is one of the major problems in downscaling transistors.

Also note that there are some silicon processes (like ST's 28nm FDSOI - soon to be 14nm) which use an undoped substrate and get a lot less variance in the behavior of the transistors. This difference is hard to quantify, but the variance of some electrical parameters of 28nmFDSOI transistors (undoped) are 3 times smaller than those in 28nmBULK (doped).

Re:potassium measure of unit (1)

SemiChemE (3528759) | about 3 months ago | (#47426331)

Potassium (K) as a dopant? I don't think so. I'm pretty sure Sodium and Potassium are metallic fast-diffusers that you want to keep as far away from the devices as possible. In silicon they act as electron or hole recombination centers, destroying carrier lifetimes, and significantly degrading performance. For conventional CMOS processing the typical dopants are Boron (p-type) and Phosphorus, Arsenic, or maybe Antimony (n-type). Note how these are either the Group III or Group V elements on the periodic table and thus have either an extra or missing electron in the valence shell compared to Silicon, which is what gives them the favorable doping properties.

Re:potassium measure of unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47427013)

Even though the bulk of the chip is silicon, most technological processes use transistors which sit on doped substrates, and potasium is one of the dopants used.

A dopant is by definition of very low concentration relative to the base/substrate material, in this case Silicon. The transistor consists, in part, of the doped part of the substrate.

Not knowing the specifics, I might have believed you that K is a dopant, as an alkali metal, which I would guess would be a good donor. But SemiChemE doesn't seem to think so, so maybe you could respond to that.

Re:potassium measure of unit (1)

anybody_out_there (2814321) | about 3 months ago | (#47425897)

Potassium is used as a di-electric material in newer processes

Re:potassium measure of unit (1)

SemiChemE (3528759) | about 3 months ago | (#47426379)

Potassium is a metal. It should be quite conductive. I doubt you'd want to use it as a dielectric (insulator). Furthermore, it's generally considered a harmful contaminant in Fabrication of semiconductor devices.

Wait.. IBM does research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47423849)

I thought they outsourced everything and laid off the rest of the company. Who's going to do the work.

$3B? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47424709)

$3B doesn't go a long way if you want to play with the big boys in semiconductor research.

Re:$3B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47425225)

A mass production fab is really expensive, but research equipement is not that expensive. Real money, to the tune of billions of dollars per fab, is spent when you apply what you have learnt in the lab to industrial production, where the cost per square mm of working silicon has to be the lowest.

Re:$3B? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47428083)

So your new fancy solution is 5 years old by the time it hits mass production.

" Ahh, I have a wonderful new transistor in my lab - let's build a fab" -- 5 years later, production.

You need to do these things in parallel. That's why it's a big boy game.

Congratulation IBM for getting back to reseach! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47426117)

Just skip the 7nanometer step. No one needs such a meager improvement in performance as the one the most optimistic projections associate with 7nm. Storage and space expenditure out paces compute 10:1 at least for the vast majority of applications.

Just do the real basic research already. It's at least a decade behind most labs and with today's patent laws you can lock down 30 years of industrial monopoly with a truly new approch.

Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47427645)

Carbon Nanotubes: Graphene in a different shape, extremely similar challenges.
Graphene: What everyone's doing anyway. Clockspeeds in excess of hundreds of gigahertz here we come!
Silicon Photonics: Actually much easier to do with graphene anyway.
Quantum computing: I doubt most people want liquid helium laying around there servers just to cool quibits into stable memory states.
Brain like architectures: The brain is fantastically similar to an FPGA, we already have those.
Silicon Substitutes: You mean like graphene?

Still, nice to know they won't just abandon it yet. With both Intel and TSMC missing the two year mark on their next silicon process shrink Moore's law is essentially already dead, and they're almost the only two companies even still competing in process shrinks or cutting edge silicon fab at all.

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