MOS transistor is the building block of integrated circuits, and is the engine that powers them. Today?s most complex ICs, such as microprocessors, graphics, and DSP chips, pack more than 100 million MOS transistors on a single chip. Integration of one billion transistors into a single chip will become a reality before 2010.
The semiconductor industry faces an environment that includes increasing chip complexity, continued cost pressures, increasing environmental regulations, and growing concern about energy consumption. New materials and technologies are needed to support the continuation of Moore's law.
Moore's Law was first postulated in 1965 and it has driven the research, development, and investments in the semiconductor industry for more than three decades. The observation that the number of transistors per integrated circuit doubles every eighteen to twenty four months is well known to industry analysts and many of the general public.
However, what is sometimes overlooked is that fact that Moore's law is an economic paradigm: that is, the cost of a transistor on an integrated circuit needs to be reduced by one half every two years.
This type of cost reduction cannot be sustained for an extended period by straightforward continuous improvement of existing technologies.
The semiconductor industry will face a number of challenges during this decade where new materials and new technologies will need to be introduced to support the continuation of Moore's Law.