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.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be