# After Die Shrink, whats next?

Tags:
Last response: in CPUs
Share

Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

Nanotechnology has to stop somewhere , and is that somehwere when they cant go any smaller then 15nm ?

Will they have Laser Processors out , or something?

What are you guys thoughts?

More about : die shrink whats

whats quantam computer?
Related resources

Quote:
A quantum computer is any device for computation that makes direct use of distinctively quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. In a classical (or conventional) computer, the amount of data is measured by bits; in a quantum computer, it is measured by qubits. The basic principle of quantum computation is that the quantum properties of particles can be used to represent and structure data, and that quantum mechanisms can be devised and built to perform operations with these data.
Quantum computers are different from classical computers such as DNA computers and computers based on transistors, even though these may ultimately use some kind of quantum mechanical effect (for example covalent bonds). Some computing architectures such as optical computers may use classical superposition of electromagnetic waves, but without some specifically quantum mechanical resource such as entanglement, they do not share the potential for computational speed-up of quantum computers.
In quantum mechanics, the state of a physical system (such as an electron or a photon) is described by a vector in a mathematical object called a Hilbert space. The realization of the Hilbert space depends on the particular system. For instance, in the case of a single particle system in three dimensions, the state can be described by a complex-valued function defined on R3 (three-dimensional space) called a wave function. As described in the article on quantum mechanics, this function has a probabilistic interpretation; of particular significance is that quantum states can be in a superposition of the basis states. The time evolution of the system state vector is assumed to be unitary, meaning that it is reversible.

A classical computer has a memory made up of bits, where each bit holds either a one or a zero. The device computes by manipulating those bits, i.e. by transporting these bits from memory to (possibly a suite of) logic gates and back. A quantum computer maintains a set of qubits. A qubit can hold a one, or a zero, or a superposition of these. A quantum computer operates by manipulating those qubits, i.e. by transporting these bits from memory to (possibly a suite of) quantum logic gates and back.

Qubits for a quantum computer can be implemented using particles with two spin states: "up" and "down" (typically written |0\rangle and |1\rangle) in fact, any system possessing an observable quantity A which is conserved under time evolution and such that A has at least two discrete and sufficiently spaced consecutive eigenvalues, is a suitable candidate for implementing a qubit, since any such system can be mapped onto an effective spin-1/2.

Thats from the Wikipedia article on the subject. Basically a QC uses qubits instead of bits to repesent the 0's and ones or up and down function. It can also hold a suppostion of either. A quantum bit, or qubit (sometimes qbit) is a unit of quantum information. That information is described by a state vector in a two-level quantum mechanical system which is formally equivalent to a two-dimensional vector space over the complex numbers.
Theres also the fact that there are no practical applications of QC that show a large step up from bit based computing as of yet:
Quote:
The dramatic advantage of quantum computers is currently known to exist for only those three problems: factoring, discrete logarithm, and quantum physics simulations. However, there is no proof that the advantage is real: an equally fast classical algorithm may still be discovered (though some consider this unlikely). There is one other problem where quantum computers have a smaller, though significant (quadratic) advantage. It is quantum database search, and can be solved by Grover's algorithm. In this case the advantage is provable. This establishes beyond doubt that (ideal) quantum computers are superior to classical computers.

Consider a problem that has these four properties:

1. The only way to solve it is to guess answers repeatedly and check them,
2. There are n possible answers to check,
3. Every possible answer takes the same amount of time to check, and
4. There are no clues about which answers might be better: generating possibilities randomly is just as good as checking them in some special order.

An example of this is a password cracker that attempts to guess the password for an encrypted file (assuming that the password has a maximum possible length).

For problems with all four properties, it will take an average of (n + 1)/2 guesses to find the answer using a classical computer. The time for a quantum computer to solve this will be proportional to the square root of n. That can be a very large speedup, reducing some problems from years to seconds. It can be used to attack symmetric ciphers such as Triple DES and AES by attempting to guess the secret key. But it is also easy to defend against, by doubling the size of this key. There are also more complicated methods for secure communication, such as using quantum cryptography.

Regardless of whether any of these problems can be shown to have an advantage on a quantum computer, they nonetheless will always have the advantage of being an excellent tool for studying quantum mechanical interactions, which of itself is an enormous value to the scientific community.

There are currently no other practical problems known where quantum computers give a large speedup over classical computers. Research is continuing, and more problems may yet be found.

Hope this was somewhat helpful. I'm pretty sure that Jumpingjack can elaborate on this topic.

Sorry , I dont understand all that , there was nothing about whats happening after die shrinks cant shrink no more.

I replied to your "What is quantum computing" question. Sorry if its a bit much, but the gist of it is that quantum computing relies on qubits instead of bits. Qubits have some similarities to a classical bit, but is overall very different. Like a bit, a qubit can have only two possible values - normally a 0 or a 1. The difference is that whereas a bit must be either 0 or 1, a qubit can be 0, 1, or a superposition of both. Quantum computing works on the basis of manipulating thes qbits.
As of right now there are no applications where we can see a giant increase in performance compared to bit based computing. They do though use password cracking methods to measure and test the power and efficency of the quantum computer.
These computers will understandably be very useful in the study of quantum mechanics.
The bottom line is that we ain't getting them yet.
DaSick

Quote:
Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

Nanotechnology has to stop somewhere , and is that somehwere when they cant go any smaller then 15nm ?

Will they have Laser Processors out , or something?

What are you guys thoughts?

It goes a 0.7 of the prior generation approximately, 45, then 32, then 22.

After that it will be a massive material change, Si will no longer be sexy, it will be something like GaAs, InSb or some other III-V semiconductor. That is my suspicion anyway.

Superconductors.

Quote:
Sorry , I dont understand all that , there was nothing about whats happening after die shrinks cant shrink no more.

We'll go back to using the abacus. Imagine the gaming and email capabilities.

To me laser looks to be the sucsessor to the nanotechonlogy. Then again since new technology is being developed everyday by next year we could hear of them talking about introducing picotechnology using nanobots to manipulate and shrink the dies.

As JumpingJack said after we reach the limits of the silicon technology we might move to some other semiconductor. My guess is Ge. However, until then laser might be the way to go, according to this Intel announcment.

As for superconductors, well I think that is not happening unless someone finds a cheap way to cool done the material. (No no a Zalman or whatever brand cooler you are using will not do it.)

ohok , thanks guys for the information , it will be very interesting to see what other innovations and inventions take place in the near future .

Because we are getting very close to the limits of silicon technology.

Quote:
Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

Nanotechnology has to stop somewhere , and is that somehwere when they cant go any smaller then 15nm ?

Will they have Laser Processors out , or something?

What are you guys thoughts?

It goes a 0.7 of the prior generation approximately, 45, then 32, then 22.

After that it will be a massive material change, Si will no longer be sexy, it will be something like GaAs, InSb or some other III-V semiconductor. That is my suspicion anyway.

Superconductors.
I'm not 100% sure about that one. Has the industry succeeded in finding a matierial that doesn't require near-absloute zero temperatures to superconduct?

Quote:
Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

Nanotechnology has to stop somewhere , and is that somehwere when they cant go any smaller then 15nm ?

Will they have Laser Processors out , or something?

What are you guys thoughts?

It goes a 0.7 of the prior generation approximately, 45, then 32, then 22.

After that it will be a massive material change, Si will no longer be sexy, it will be something like GaAs, InSb or some other III-V semiconductor. That is my suspicion anyway.That's still not bad, really. If they max out the technology on Si in around 2012ish, that means that they will have used Si for 35-40 years. Considering how quickly technology advances, that would make it some old technology.

Quote:
Second to H2, I think silicon has been the most studied element on the periodic table

Interesting thought, that is... What would be its competition? Helium, oxygen, iron, uranium, nitrogen, chlorine, sulfur? Carbon based compounds probably head the molecular list. Just getting accurate stats would be quite a literature project.

Quote:
Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

Nanotechnology has to stop somewhere , and is that somehwere when they cant go any smaller then 15nm ?

Will they have Laser Processors out , or something?

What are you guys thoughts?

When shrinking dies is no longer feasible, a desperate CPU industry will turn to.......

There was an article some time back about a company in the U.S. that was growing diamonds. The founder has a semiconductor background. I believe he was interested in producing wafers. Any idea what happened to that plan?

This is the latest bit I've seen. It's old. I would love to see more, more current, and more in depth.

Quote:
There was an article some time back about a company in the U.S. that was growing diamonds. The founder has a semiconductor background. I believe he was interested in producing wafers. Any idea what happened to that plan?

I know that uniformity was a huge issue. Also, there were problems getting the kind of growth and dimensional control that were desired. One of the guys I used to work with managed to get a small sample of the material and while doing microscopy, he managed to drop it and lose it. Oops!

Quote:
Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

Nanotechnology has to stop somewhere , and is that somehwere when they cant go any smaller then 15nm ?

Will they have Laser Processors out , or something?

What are you guys thoughts?

In my opinion (*), there's still plenty of room for silicon (combined with other elements/compounds/alloys/...) and, the next near-term drastic improvements will address processors' frontend & backend processes, with special emphasis on interconnects (actually, laser chips are not laser processors, as one might be lead to believe, but laser-based optical interconnects...); these will allow new techniques/technologies to be implemented (namely, 3D transistor features, stacked chips, active on-chip/on-package cooling, ultra-fast chip-to-chip & network interconnects, ...) and, last but not least (at all!), new lithographic manufacturing technologies (like Electron Beam Litho, among many: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=4192).
Inevitably, other more radical & futuristic technologies will evolve in parallel (and some, eventually merge); cost & versatility-wise, silicon's still to maintain the crown.

Here's a nice link to backend process manufacturing, lithography, ...

http://www.future-fab.com/solutions.asp?sID=217&n=Final+Manufacturing

(*) Actually, I'm all but alone, on this one! :wink:

Cheers!

Quote:
Guys , Ive always wondered , we are at around 65nm now . Once We go to 45nm and then 25 , then 15nm , whats after that? Laser Chips?

What are you guys thoughts?

To add to other suggested possibilities, I would not rule out basic circuitry design shift. AFAIK, IBM already have done something in this area by introducing dynamic logic design in Xbox CPU. Maybe more is to come.

What e.g. about going from 2-state logic to 4-states? Or to encode states by phase shifts? If I remember well, latest phone-lines modems were able to push 33 kb/s through 2.4 Khz bandwith by using combination of phase shifts and multiple voltage levels. Maybe something similiar would be possible to achieve with core logic.

Quote:
What e.g. about going from 2-state logic to 4-states? Or to encode states by phase shifts? If I remember well, latest phone-lines modems were able to push 33 kb/s through 2.4 Khz bandwith by using combination of phase shifts and multiple voltage levels. Maybe something similiar would be possible to achieve with core logic.

Sounds interesting but... what do you mean by a «4-states» logic?

Cheers!

People who think quantum computers are the next step are dreaming.

I think the next step beyond what we have is to move past lithography and transistors to molecular assembly.

This is likely feasible at least centuries before real quantum computers become feasible (if they are ever possible, like anti-grav or FTL).

If we use molecular assembly, and develop a molecular alternative to the transistor that does not rely on mere electronic potential (which ends up vunerable to electron tunnelling) but instead relies on molecular transitions (like the ion flow in our nerve cells, though it actually is fairly slow for actual data transfer).

We can use electronic flow or photon beams or molecular shifts to get the info out of the molecular "transistor" (ie reads/writes a bit or performs a boolean operation that feeds into a nearby molecular "transistor".)

The other possibility is a kind of gear that has an inner gear and an outer/larger gear (so it can be in one state or another). The gears can interconnect to form circuits. You can even arrange the gears in 3D.

The big issue in these molecular ciruits is handling errors (electron tunnelling, heat/vibration issues).

Maybe we need to develop layers inside the chip designed just to absorb and propogate excess heat away from the logic circuits and out to the outside of the chip.

Quote:
I replied to your "What is quantum computing" question. Sorry if its a bit much, but the gist of it is that quantum computing relies on qubits instead of bits. Qubits have some similarities to a classical bit, but is overall very different. Like a bit, a qubit can have only two possible values - normally a 0 or a 1. The difference is that whereas a bit must be either 0 or 1, a qubit can be 0, 1, or a superposition of both. Quantum computing works on the basis of manipulating thes qbits.
As of right now there are no applications where we can see a giant increase in performance compared to bit based computing. They do though use password cracking methods to measure and test the power and efficency of the quantum computer.
These computers will understandably be very useful in the study of quantum mechanics.
The bottom line is that we ain't getting them yet.
DaSick

So all that fancy talk is just another way of saying qubits are tri-state bits then?

At some point we will have bio-computers. They will use genetically engineered cells for computation. Neural nets will use real neurons.

Then you will be able to down load your soul onto a desktop and live forever! :wink: Or at least while the power is on

Quote:
People who think quantum computers are the next step are dreaming.

I think the next step beyond what we have is to move past lithography and transistors to molecular assembly.

Well, Molecular Computing doesn't rule out QC (in fact, it may even complement each other...) and vice-versa; the fundamental issues here are orders of magnitude higher, on what concerns our ability - directly or otherwise - to control [quantum] states and be able to perform non-trivial calculations with them; like conventional transistors, the more "noise" we're able to take out of the equation (go overall downscale), the more we get buried into Quantum Mechanics and control slips through our fingers, Molecular Computing included.
Other than that, it's a wonderful world but you can't get rid of the electronic potential, especially, when dealing with Chemistry. :wink:

(Not an expert, though).

Cheers!

In short yup, or atleast thats what I gather about the subject and what I've forgotten in my microprocessor/operating science class.
@ Jumping Jack
Did I miss anything or was I extremely off in any parts of the explaination?

Quote:
What e.g. about going from 2-state logic to 4-states? Or to encode states by phase shifts? If I remember well, latest phone-lines modems were able to push 33 kb/s through 2.4 Khz bandwith by using combination of phase shifts and multiple voltage levels. Maybe something similiar would be possible to achieve with core logic.

Sounds interesting but... what do you mean by a «4-states» logic?

Cheers!

Sorry me, now I am not sure whether you are addressing my typo?

2-state logic is high/low voltage or 0-1 in single wire. Theoretical "4-state" would express 0-1-2-3 in single wire by 4 voltage levels or maybe by something else like e.g. pulse width.

Quote:
Theoretical "4-state" would express 0-1-2-3 in single wire by 4 voltage levels or maybe by something else like e.g. pulse width.

Yes well, and you are aware that a transistor is not a true switch, in as much as it can have a variable "on" state. In fact, if set up in darlington pairs, it could have a very wide output range.
Then again, if you want anilog computing, nanotubes may be for you. They can be set up with variable positive and negative ranges.
At this point though, the complex logic, and the software it would require, is probably beyond us mere mortals.

Well there are many devices that have more than one state. They are called analog.

Quote:
Well there are many devices that have more than one state. They are called analog.

Actually, there were even analog computers. For certain computational tasks, if precision does not matter so much, they are unbeatable...

Quote:
Theoretical "4-state" would express 0-1-2-3 in single wire by 4 voltage levels or maybe by something else like e.g. pulse width.

At this point though, the complex logic, and the software it would require, is probably beyond us mere mortals.

Well, acutally, I do not believe that 4-state logic is the way to go. I just wanted to show an example.

From practical point of view, IBM's dynamic logic is more interesting.

Quote:
Sorry me, now I am not sure whether you are addressing my typo?

2-state logic is high/low voltage or 0-1 in single wire. Theoretical "4-state" would express 0-1-2-3 in single wire by 4 voltage levels or maybe by something else like e.g. pulse width.

Typo?!
I'm merely curious since, as far as I know, a conventional transistor can only have two states: on & off. Now, even if you can vary the voltage input at both ends of the spectrum (i.e., Ioff/Idsat), you're still left with two transistor states. Certainly, at the inversion layer, when the threshold voltage Vt is overcome, you can discretely increase voltage (although I don't see the advantage of it...); still, you're left with two logic states: on & off.
Since we're dealing with digital devices (not analog), my question remains: How would a 4-state work, if different (above Vt) voltages do not define states (at least, in binary logic) but increased saturation? Seriously, I fail to grasp your point and I'm curious about your idea, that's all.

Cheers!

Quote:

Sorry then for a little bit misleading example. Of course I do not know how to implement 4-state logic. I used that suggestion as stupid demonstration that perhaps it would be possible to achieve some more performance by exploiting different paradigm than simple on/off binary logic.

BTW, as for saturated states, there was decades ago ECL technology that used unsaturated bipolar transistors because at the time, saturated states were slow.

(Now thinking about it... but I am writing that just because it is momentary thought.... you perhaps could quite easily achieve 3-state logic system by using negative voltage to represent 3rd state  .

Quote:
i think at some point we may see IBM re enter the pc/cpu segment,they have their hands in so many exciting technonlogies,i give them up to 10 years to find an alternative or a cpu type tech thats revolutionary.

I dunno, Vern. IBM seems to be playing it pretty safe over the last decade in terms of what goes to market. They do seem to put a ton of effort into evaluating new tech and in my experience, do not pull the plug on borderline success projects as quickly as Intel. Who knows, maybe they are looking for a big winner?

Quote:
i think at some point we may see IBM re enter the pc/cpu segment.

Actually, I see that as quite likely scenario, but for completely different reason:

If AMD goes down, IBM is the most likely buyer.

Quote:

ill say amd and Ibm would pair pretty well.imho.

Yep, that is my impression as well.

Quote:

ill say amd and Ibm would pair pretty well.imho.

Yep, that is my impression as well.Ugly name though...AIMBDM
:wink:

Quote:
Sorry then for a little bit misleading example. Of course I do not know how to implement 4-state logic. I used that suggestion as stupid demonstration that perhaps it would be possible to achieve some more performance by exploiting different paradigm than simple on/off binary logic.

I don't find it stupid at all; perhaps ill supported, I'd say. Actually, even Quantum Computing relies upon a quantum property, superposition (in which a particle/wave is allowed to be in an infinity of superimposed states, dictated by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, of which we're only able to know probability amplitudes); however, whenever the wave function collapses (quantum decoherence), the [classical] outcome is still binary: 0 or 1.
Even if one could manage two quantum "variables" simultaneously (say, it's mass/energy & spin) independently, I still believe that we'd be left with two binary outcomes...

Disclaimer: I'm not a Physicist, much less, an expert on QM. Just speculating; hence, relieving my conscience.

Quote:
BTW, as for saturated states, there was decades ago ECL technology that used unsaturated bipolar transistors because at the time, saturated states were slow.

I'm still too young at Computing to know about its history; but, I'm always learning. :wink:

Quote:
(Now thinking about it... but I am writing that just because it is momentary thought.... you perhaps could quite easily achieve 3-state logic system by using negative voltage to represent 3rd state  .

Possibly (not probably, though)... but, that's the issue: What would that state be? "Maybe"? 1/2 (of what?)?

Cheers!

Quote:
Ugly name though...AIMBDM
:wink:

Cheers!

Quote:

(Now thinking about it... but I am writing that just because it is momentary thought.... you perhaps could quite easily achieve 3-state logic system by using negative voltage to represent 3rd state Smile.

Possibly (not probably, though)... but, that's the issue: What would that state be? "Maybe"? 1/2 (of what?)?
Well if you keep thinking binary then you have a problem using a third, fourth or hundreth state. However, if you use another system other than binary you could take advantage of extra states. For example if you had a device with ten states then you could use the decimal system. Although I don't know if that would provide more computational power.

Quote:

Possibly (not probably, though)... but, that's the issue: What would that state be? "Maybe"? 1/2 (of what?)?

Simply you will use 3 as base (0, 1, 2). Whereas today you can store numbers 0-255 in 8 units (wires, bits), with 3-state logic you would express 0-243 in 5 units (wires, "trits").

Of course, you would have to develop completely new algebra to layout some real circuits like 3-state add-and-carry (the base of all computing  .

Quote:

Possibly (not probably, though)... but, that's the issue: What would that state be? "Maybe"? 1/2 (of what?)?

Funny, simple google search revealed this interesting site dealing with the subject:

http://www.trinary.cc/

I think if you can make light-based chips, it could use any number of colors to represent the information. It would be interesting to make the system do math by combining light to get different colors which represent different answers too. Splitting it might be a bit more complicated, but new things always are.

Quote:
IABMMD,,,,I BAMMD ,BAM! :wink:

No way! Take it from Ali - the proper combo is:

Quote:
Simply you will use 3 as base (0, 1, 2). Whereas today you can store numbers 0-255 in 8 units (wires, bits), with 3-state logic you would express 0-243 in 5 units (wires, "trits").

Of course, you would have to develop completely new algebra to layout some real circuits like 3-state add-and-carry (the base of all computing  .

I used the term 'binary' regarding both transistor states & base-2 (0, 1) logic.

After following your advice (googling), I've found this site where it's stated that:

Quote:
The first digital computers used ten voltages, meaning they where base 10 - or decimal.

(http://xyzzy.freeshell.org/trinary/)

I confess my lack of knowledge on this; anyway, I also found this:

Quote:
In the case of real digital circuits currents are passed through the lines, but voltages between about 5 and 15 are called on or TRUE and near zero called off or FALSE. We identify TRUE with the digit 1 and FALSE with the digit 0.

(http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/teaching/B261/binary_logic.html)

The way I see it - and the way conventional transistors work - there are only two possible transistor states: on & off (ok, maybe a third, since 'off' doesn't mean total absence of voltage: Fried!). N-gate transistors, for instance, might do more parallel processing simultaneously but, I still fail to see which processing states a single transistor could take, other than... on or off (QC aside, for now).
Maybe you or someone else knows better; I'm interested.

Cheers!

Quote:
I think if you can make light-based chips, it could use any number of colors to represent the information. It would be interesting to make the system do math by combining light to get different colors which represent different answers too. Splitting it might be a bit more complicated, but new things always are.

Actually, that's the way optical fibres work, by modulating the wavelenght (or the frequency f; f=v/L, where v stands for velocity & L for wavelenght, Lambda) of different laser beams, hence, different colours, in parallel (simply put, of course). You can split beams with prisms, half-silvered mirrors & use polarizers to filter them.

But again, even with light beams, a supposed [optical] transistor would process in parallel, intermediate states (changing f or L; v=c) in such single devices (in flight, i.e., while the signal is travelling), would mean beam decoherence and information lost, at best.

Fell free to comment.

Cheers!

Quote:
No way! Take it from Ali - the proper combo is:

Sorry.
You can only use the AMDIBM set of letters. No extras allowed. :wink:

Cheers!

Quote:
No way! Take it from Ali - the proper combo is:

Sorry.
You can only use the AMDIBM set of letters. No extras allowed. :wink:

Cheers!