by Sehat Sutardja
Hidden behind the recent good news in the semiconductor industry is a developing crisis that I fear will spread across the entire electronics industry within a decade.
Moore’s Law is not really a law at all; as Dr. Moore himself regularly reminds us, it is merely a social contract between the semiconductor industry and its customers to keep technology moving forward at an exponential rate. There is no intrinsic reason why Moore’s Law must continue. In that case, why do we abide by it? Because whatever the financial costs of keeping up with Moore’s Law, the social costs of not doing so would be far greater.
For 50 years, ICs have been powering the world’s products and services, thereby driving the world economy. Moore’s Law doesn’t just describe the pace of innovation in the semiconductor world, but that of life in the modern world. What’s the price for this extraordinary pace of change? It may surprise you to learn that the answer is right in front of us.