Shrinking Chips and Nanotech: The NY Times Takes a Stab

Predicting the end of Moore’s Law and the need to move on past the etched silicon chip is beginning to make me think of the Peak Oil issue. Some say we have already reached Peak Oil and we need to adopt alternative energies more aggressively while others argue that we still have 50 years before it’s reached.

While timetables may differ, sometimes extraordinarily so, there’s no doubt that there is a virtual wall out there for oil and the silicon chip.

The NY Times in its Tuesday science section tackles the debate between the “end is nigh” crowd and the “wait until the next decade” type on the question of Moore’s law and manages to come up with a coherent article.

Of course, from a nanotech point of view it is always interesting to see the nanotechnologies that are trotted out as possible solutions for reducing feature size. We get mention of nanowires and even the latest research on so-called DNA origami.

What had me a little surprised was that reporter seemed to take the word of the IBM researcher interviewed for the piece unchallenged when she said that growing nanowires that would serve as FinFET switches would be available commercially by 2012.

I don’t want to dismiss this as a very real possibility, but surely there might be some others out there who might think differently on that particular timetable. MIght be worth a second quote.



IEEE Spectrum’s nanotechnology blog, featuring news and analysis about the development, applications, and future of science and technology at the nanoscale.

Dexter Johnson
Madrid, Spain