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December 31st, 2006
With the end of Moore's Law looming as a possibility, the search for something to replace today's workhorse CMOS-based silicon is intensifying, researchers told the AVS International Symposium & Exhibition in San Francisco last November. But thus far, no consensus or cost-effective device technology has emerged for the dreaded post-CMOS era less than a decade away, the researchers warned.
That era—when the bulk silicon in today's chip-making fabs no longer scales—could hit by 2015 or sooner, they hinted. By that time, fabs would need a replacement technology, such as carbon nanotubes, nanowires, molecular electronics, quantum computing, three-dimensional transistor designs and spintronics. And the semiconductor industry could see other sweeping and costly changes, including the frightening prospect of 675mm-wafer fabs appearing around 2021.
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