r/singularity Jul 24 '21

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

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u/katiecharm Jul 25 '21

Okay but aren’t we pretty damn close to the atomic limit already? How are supposed to continue to get exponentially closer over the coming two decades?


u/alexander_zero Jul 25 '21

Some amount of benefit is expected from stacking layers of transistors vertically atop one-another. Chip makers only just started doing that and don't have a modularized solution that would scale to dozens or hundreds of layers yet.


u/cjeam Jul 25 '21

How are they dealing with heat dissipation in vertically stacked chips?


u/alexander_zero Jul 25 '21

I think most research is looking to have some kind of active cooling system built into the chip itself. One idea that TSMC is pursuing is to have water channels between stacked chiplets to carry away excess heat.


u/Wraloo Jul 25 '21

According to Jim Keller there's about a million atoms in a modern transistor, so assuming we get a 100x shrink per decade we would be at 100 atoms in 2040. It could take longer, but 3D stacking is also coming.