IEEE Spectrum Article: Transistor Wars
May 4, 2011 may go down in history as a day that shook the chip industry to its core, literally. Anyone even remotely interested in technology must have caught Intel’s dramatic announcement on that day that 3-D transistors are now ready to enter high-volume manufacturing.
However, other leading players believe there’s plenty of development room left in two dimensions.
The debate about the relative merits of that third dimension has actually been going on for a while.
(I wrote about this very topic here almost a year ago.) Intel’s announcement, combined with the fact that the semiconductor industry is getting uncomfortably close to the physical limits of conventional transistor construction, is lending new urgency to the subject.
Applied Materials doesn’t make microchips. Our customers – the chipmakers – make them. But they use our machines and technologies to do so, and that gives us a unique perspective.
Two of Applied Materials’ leading technologists, Klaus Schuegraf, CTO of the semiconductor division and senior strategist Khaled Ahmed have written a fascinating article for IEEE Spectrum, exploring these competing technologies and the industry heavyweights lining up behind each one.
As Klaus and Khaled put it:
“Although it’s not yet clear which device architecture will win, what’s certain is that the CMOS transistor – the centerpiece of computer processors since the 1980s – will get an entirely new look.”
I highly recommend you click on over to IEEE Spectrum and read the whole article.