A few years ago, the first signs that Moore’s Law wouldn’t hold up started to show. Since then, the situation has improved, with chip manufacturers upgrading their designs using smaller nodes and different packaging techniques to improve their products. With Intel’s latest advancements, Moore’s Law will last for quite some time.
Over the next four years, Intel products will be based on the Intel 7 (Alder Lake), Intel 4 and Intel 3 process nodes. Beyond that, as announced during IEDM (International Electron Devices Meeting) 2021, Intel hopes to make use of its new packaging, transistor, and quantum physics breakthroughs to advance Moore’s Law further.
Using new scaling technologies, Intel expects to increase interconnect density by ten times via hybrid bonding and improve transistor area by 30% to 50% by finding the best process for GAA (Gate All Around) scaling. In addition, Intel is also researching the use of 2D materials to make shorter channels, overcoming limitations presented by traditional materials.
Intel is also bringing new capabilities to silicon, enabling it to keep pace with performance demands. In this area, Intel has already developed the world’s first GaN-based power switches with silicon-based CMOS on a 300mm wafer, setting the stage for CPUs capable of withstanding higher voltages and reducing motherboard components and space simultaneously. Moreover, the chipmaker is also testing embedded DRAM, named FeRAM, which features read/write latencies as low as 2ns.
Lastly, Intel plans to use silicon transistor-based quantum computing in its processors, developing a method that makes them run at room temperature. Inventing such a method should take a while, but Intel has already achieved encouraging milestones to replace classic MOSFET transistors with quantum-based ones.
KitGuru says: This all covers Intel’s plans up to 2025, but whether Moore’s Law can be advanced beyond then still remains to be seen.