The Lifer: Is Processor Innovation Dead?

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stengelmedia

you wrote "Photolithography is used to carve a chip’s building blocks: its transistors, the miniscule on-off switches that handle the digital language" which is not exactly accurate. Photolithography lays the patterns of resist onto the wafer, but does not perform any of the "carving", or as the industry refers to as Etching. The etching process, either Dry Etch (which is plasma based, or Wet Etch, which is chemical based, actually carves out the features.
You are correct in the fact that the feature size limitations are due to the lithography limitations, though are dealt with by one of many different proprietary solutions.

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Geoduck

This article could have been written in '05, or '00, or '95 or '90 or...
And it's been wrong every time.

Sure they are reaching the end of what they can do with current photo-lithography technology but that doesn't mean they can't make chips faster. Massively Parallel Processing is the wave of the future. We've gone from single processor CPUs a decade ago to dual core to quad core. I expect over the next decade we'll see personal systems and notebooks with 8, 16, 32, even 64 core processors with a full 'system-on-a-chip'. No the individual cores won't get faster but the chips will do what we want faster, and that's all most people really care about.

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