Do Semiconductors Need to Keep Getting More Powerful?


May 11, 2022

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As we’ve previously discussed on this blog, Moore’s Law has driven semiconductor progress for many decades now. Essentially, it states that the number of transistors that can fit onto a circuit doubles every two years.  

While the industry has seen all kinds of developments – from the invention of germanium wafers to new semiconductor architectures – nothing has been as essential to the progress of technology.  

That said, we’re reaching the limits of how small transistors can reasonably get, as they get nearer and nearer to the size of a single atom of silicon. This begs the question: what happens when Moore’s Law ends?

a gloved hand holding a Germanium Wafer

Why Semiconductor Efficiency is So Important

The ever-increasing power of chips has allowed 2century phones to contain more computing power than the room-sized computers of the fifties and sixties. This increasing power has ripple effects throughout the economy.

As devices get more powerful, workers get more powerful as well. This means that everyone can contribute more to society, earning more and thus spending more.

How Else Could Semiconductors Get More Powerful?

Even if we’re reaching the limit of how many transistors can physically fit onto a circuit, there are still other techniques that can be used to increase the power of semiconductors. Two popular alternatives are:

  • Using Different Materials – Different semiconductor materials have different benefits. Taking advantage of those differences can increase the efficiency that a semiconductor brings to a given task, increasing its power, speed, or durability.  
  • Changing Semiconductor Architecture – Vertical semiconductors could prove more efficient, creating a whole new way to create more computer power without making transistors smaller.
a worker polishing a Germanium Wafer

Looking for Germanium Wafers?

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While we’ve been in the business for decades, we’re proud to still be on the cutting edge of wafer manufacturing. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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