The semiconductor industry can be described in many ways. Ingenious, impactful, and unpredictable are three descriptors that come to mind. There are many more, but one word that doesn’t apply here is boring. In the 1960s, the late Gordon Moore advanced the insightful observation that chip complexity would follow an exponential path. His now famous Moore’s law charted the course for the semiconductor industry for over 50 years.
The exponential effects predicted by Moore’s law have had a profound impact on the semiconductor industry, all the industries that use semiconductors, and the world at large. An analogy here is useful. Back in 2015, when Moore’s law turned 50, Scientific American published an article on the longevity and impact of Gordon Moore’s prediction. In that article, the exponential effects of Moore’s law were applied to the automotive industry. The article went on to point out:
If a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle had advanced at the pace of Moore’s law over the past 34 years, today “you would be able to go with that car 300,000 miles per hour. You would get two million miles per gallon of gas, and all that for the mere cost of four cents.”
If only Moore’s law could continue forever. But alas, nothing lasts forever. In recent times, Moore’s law has begun to slow down. It’s still predicting (and delivering) semiconductor advances, but it takes more time and money to arrive at those advances, and once there the benefits aren’t as great as they used to be.
Innovation will not be slowed, especially in the semiconductor industry. So, something else must be added to keep things moving at the customary exponential pace. That something else is multi-die systems and a significant new piece of research about this trend is the subject of this post. Read on to get an industry-wide look at the move toward multi-die systems.