Over at The Register, Dan Olds writes that integrated circuits can’t continue to shrink forever.
So where’s the end of the line? According to Bernie: 7 to 9 nanometers. When the features on a chip get to this minute size, you start to see quantum mechanics effects that are “very nasty” that impairs the performance of the processor’s decision-making gates. The problems at 7nm are profound to the point where there isn’t really any way around them – it’s just too damned small – and there isn’t a way to scale down an atom. It’s a fundamental limit, and it’s finally in sight. Chips in mass production these days have a 32nm or 22nm feature size, and 14nm is not far down the line.
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