Thu, Nov 22, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Moore’s Law challenged by 0.7 nanometer diode

Staff writer, with CNA

A Taiwanese research team has extended and potentially laid the groundwork for going beyond Moore’s Law with a monolayer diode, which could lead to a major breakthrough in the semiconductor industry, the Ministry of Science and Technology told a news conference yesterday.

Supported by the ministry, a research team led by National Cheng Kung University professor Wu Chung-lin (吳忠霖) and National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center assistant scientist Chen Chia-hao (陳家浩) on Aug. 7 published its research results on developing a 2D monolayer diode in Nature Communications.

The electrodes of the diode are made of 2D nonmetallic elements, tungsten diselenide and graphene, which demonstrate great semiconducting ability in an atomic monolayer that is only 0.7 nanometer (nm) wide, the ministry said.

Compared with common silicon semiconductors, for which transistor channel size has hit a hard limit at 3nm wide, the monolayer diode is thinner, smaller and faster, it said.

As a result, it has the potential to move beyond Moore’s Law and meet the manufacturing needs of a new generation of energy-saving ICs, the ministry added.

Moore’s Law is a prediction made by Intel Corp cofounder Gordon Moore in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip would double every 18 to 24 months. It has since become a guiding principle in the computer chip industry.

However, in the past few years the physical transistor channel size limit has been reached and the consequent challenges faced by the industry have given rise to questions as to whether the speed of innovation suggested by the law might have ended.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) last year said that the law is likely to remain relevant for another decade.

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