Moore’s Law is an observation made by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel. In 1965, Moore wrote a paper noting that the number of transistors inside an integrated circuit doubles every year. Ten years later, he revised the law by saying that the number of transistors inside an IC will double every other year. Over time, this has been more or less reliable. We can track this by looking at the process node used by chip foundries to manufacture integrated circuits; the smaller the process number, the larger the number of transistors that can fit inside.
TSMC plans on starting volume production of 3nm chips by 2022
So what happens in 2028? Will Moore’s Law come to an abrupt end? Many thought that chip manufacturers were never going to get past 5nm. TSMC will build its 3nm chips in Hsinchu, Taiwan. And that is where it will conduct R&D for the development of 2nm chips according to the foundry’s senior director Zhuang Zishou. At this point, there is no reason to expect the law to be repealed even when the foundries get down to 1nm which, in theory, could take place by 2026. But TSMC is working on some things to keep the law alive. One option is to stack transistors vertically instead of horizontally. The company is also investigating alternatives to silicon packaging by looking at the periodic chart. The right element could be the answer to the question that opened this paragraph.