IBM betting carbon nanotubes can restore Moore’s Law by 2020
The ongoing collapse of Moore’s Law is one of the least reported stories in technology today. That old canard says that the number of transistors that’s possible to fit onto a chip will double every two years. Like a shark, our processing industry can only survive in its current form thanks to that constant forward motion — and with the rate of semiconductor advance now slowing, the industry could well slow down with it. Silicon is, at this point, totally incapable of providing any further advancement; a new material is needed, one that can be reliably laid down at scales well below 10 nanometers. For a long time, experts have argued that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are the most likely answer, and this week IBM announced it expects to have a commercial CNT chip ready by the year 2020.