Chinese Vice Premier Liu He chaired a high-level science and technology working meeting (National Science and Technology System Reform and Innovation System Construction Leading Group Meeting) on May 14. According to the press release, the meeting also discussed “Potential Disruptive Technologies for Integrated Circuits in the Post-Moore Era”.
As we all know, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, famously introduced Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles approximately every two years (24 months) when the price remains the same. (24 months) will be doubled, the performance will also double. This makes the IC industry has been following Moore’s law so far, in recent years, the performance shows a gradual slowdown, experts estimate that Moore’s law will eventually usher in the physical limit. According to Gordon Moore’s own predictions, Moore’s Law will be out of alignment by 2020.
Today, the industry generally believes that silicon-based chips 2nm is almost the limit, after the chip industry will enter the post-Moore era, that is, Moore’s Law first-mover advantage or no longer be used, the latecomers bend the opportunity to overtake the car has appeared. In the view of some land media, the post-Moore era is undoubtedly a new track, not a bend, is a change of track, the reason is that the new generation of materials to replace silicon can bypass the limits of the existing technology evolution.
As now many official media non-official media are piling up to report on Peking University’s carbon-based chip team. Take a report by People’s Daily, for example, an interview with Peng Lianmao, director of Peking University’s carbon-based electronics research center, on January 28 this year, who said that carbon chip technology is expected to become mainstream chip technology in 15 years. According to the report, the raw material of carbon-based chips is graphene wafers, and the current manufacturing process of graphene material is a two-dimensional carbon nanotube. For a period of time, China’s self-published technology reports also hype “Beida’s carbon-based chip can bypass the Dutch lithography to achieve a change of lane,” and so on.
But on the other hand, it is pointed out that not only China, but also many countries are developing carbon tubes, and several research teams in the United States are also studying carbon nanotubes. Second, carbon-based chips do not need high-end lithography at present there is no scientific basis to give a positive answer. Most importantly, scientific research to achieve the value of applications, a slap on the wrist does not ring, that is, the commercial prospects of carbon-based chips is unclear, at least in the foreseeable future can not see the huge market demand driven.
Carbon chip business prospects are not clear, Moore’s Law is “dark”. Public reports show that TSMC founder Zhang Zhongmou also believed that Moore’s Law will come to an end in 2018, but later predicted that the reason for the big turn, in addition to heterogeneous integration, another is the introduction of EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography).
In fact, the chip material change is not the first time, before the first new chip material used is germanium, and not silicon. After the emergence of silicon wafers, the same use of photolithography. Therefore, professionals pointed out that the era of carbon-based chips, photolithography still continues its mission.
Without chips there would be no developed information age today. Professionals also said that the U.S. pioneered the silicon chip era, the time has been up to more than 60 years, is still the world of silicon-based chips, and is still ongoing, not just say alternative can be replaced, not to mention just say the end can end.
Liu He this meeting, the so-called discussion of a very important issue “post-Moore era of potential disruptive technologies”, was interpreted by their own media as a new material to achieve a change of road to overtake, in fact, also revealed a key message from the side, that is, Beijing may have recognized that the existing technology is not too difficult to catch up, but there is no possibility of catching up.