Circuit designers are accustomed to having a minimal set of options when dealing with different transistor specialization types. However, future transistors will largely be about domain-specific applications and material-specific choices, both at the chip level and at the system level.
Where does the future of Moore's Law stand amidst all of this? After spending decades treading the path of the famed law, Synopsys believes it will continue, but that we also may need to recalibrate the meaning of the "density of transistors."
For instance, do we really need to worry about the number of transistors per unit area or is it the number of transistors per footprint? With the footprint measure taking into account the 3D volume and the cross section of the largest view on the X-Y scale, it may be a better determiner of performance and speed as transistors continue to shrink.
Looking at applications available today, an area that we are really excited about is the extension of human capability to perceive, observe, and better understand the world around us (i.e., virtual reality and augmented reality, or VR/AR). On a similar spectrum, autonomous vehicles on the road today already use a variety of sensors, cameras, and other electronic systems powered by multiple transistors to extract useful signals for the vehicle to function.
This evolution, which started with a single transistor to now becoming systems of chips, is accompanied by transistors getting smaller, lighter, and cheaper. Thus, it's bringing new considerations into the picture, such as co-designing the hardware system with software running on it.
A renaissance in transistor invention is already underway, and the blank canvas of potential is fascinating. The moonshot idea will lie in finding the best way to design a system-centric view of chiplets that can be used to better model the world—purely enabled by better transistors.