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Re: (Fwd) 1995 Nanotechnology Conference
Crypto relevance -- slight.
At 09:47 AM 8/23/95 -0700, Timothy C. May wrote:
> Moore's Law is an observation of past behavior, not a law of
> nature. Gordon thought the curve would "slow down" around
> 1980 or so. It didn't, for various reasons. But many of us
> expect it will.
> Consider that a new wafer fab capable of building these
> "Moore's Law"devices has increased in price from about $50
> million a couple of decades ago to about $1.5 billion today.
During the entire period that Moore's law has been in effect, we have used
light to print the wafers.
Now, with phase shifting masks in billion dollar fabs, we are reaching the
absolute limits of light. If we go up to higher frequencies, we lose
refraction, and phase shifting fails. Refractable light craps out at about
.3 to .15 microns. Intel is currently at .35 microns.
There will be a slight hiccup or a major hesitation in Moore's law as the
fabs switch to a non optical printing process.
Current contenders are:
* Synchrotron radiation (twenty billion dollar fabs, or worse.)
* ions (fab price jumps a few times higher than current fab price.)
* electrons (no great escalation in fab price, but a radical drop in
* flexible direct contact. (fab price goes way down, back to producing ICs
in your garage.)
The flexible direct contact method has enough horsepower to take us all the
rest of the way down merge with biotech and to produce wires one atom thick
-- assuming that people manage to get anything useful out of it at all.
There have been very large investments in all of the above research
projects, and so far non of them have worked as yet. (But they are all of
them a hell of a lot closer to working than nanotech.)
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