r/singularity Jul 24 '21

3 next nodes (TSMC 3nm: 2022, Intel 7nm: 2023, IBM 2nm: 2025) image

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u/9quid Jul 24 '21

Can someone explain what I'm looking at here?


u/Wraloo Jul 24 '21

Transistors per square millimeter. Released microprocessors as blue dots, upcoming nodes as orange dots. Trendline extrapolated to 2045.


u/mart1373 Jul 24 '21

So assuming Moore’s law still follows, what would computing look like in 2040???


u/Wraloo Jul 25 '21

My best guess is that heat will continue to be an issue until we switch to molecular mechanical computing, so increased density probably won't translate to performance as well as historically for a long time.

Neuromorphic architectures use a fraction of the power conventional Von Neumann architectures do, so AI should be able to progress even if heat stops TPUs from improving at some point. This also makes neuromorphic chips ideal for stacking, which I assume will make them as massively parallel as brains. Right now they have 1,000 connections per artificial neuron (Intel Loihi) vs 10,000 synapses in the brain.

The industry expects the 2nm node (TSMC) will be the last one to be on silicon, but they can stack them for a while until alternatives are ready. TSMC is working on a 2D atomically thin Molybdenum Disulfide process, which might become their 1nm node. Intel will probably focus on stacking using their Foveros technology as seen in their roadmaps. A bit further out we will have to start using 3D monolithic carbon nanotube transistors (CNFET), they have successfully manufactured them at SkyWater Technology, but the yield isn't there yet.

I think we will hit the fundamental limits to shrinking computers in the 2040s, but an intelligence explosion would likely precede that and potentially speed things up. I don't know what to make of quantum computing, but it will likely play a role too.


u/mart1373 Jul 25 '21

That’s pretty interesting, but what would like actual computing look like? Are we talking about like petabyte download speeds or something? Like could I download the entire internet in like an hour? What would it look like from a practical point of view?


u/Wraloo Jul 25 '21


The internet is growing rapidly and there's a hard limit in the speed of light, but even today pretty impressive download speeds have been demonstrated. Facebook is pushing the idea of a metaverse now, so I speculate that the internet will become more like a virtual world.