Monday, February 07, 2005

Place your bets on chips

Nano and Chips: Uneasy Ties
Semiconductor execs bridle at the suggestion that this new technology could unseat them. It is, however, a distinct possibility
(By Stephen Baker, Business Week)

    In about a decade, the semiconductor industry, most agree, will reach a physical limit. Engineers will no longer be able to shrink down circuits on tiny slabs of silicon. To continue doubling computing capacity every 18 months, while cutting costs -- the formula that has powered tech growth for 40 years -- the industry will look to new technology, a new architecture, and perhaps a move beyond silicon.

    This will be a crucial transition in the history of computing (see BW, 2/14/05, "The Business Of Nanotech"). And the key question is this: Will the current titans of the Silicon Age, led by the semiconductor industry, maintain their leadership as they attempt to shepherd the industry through this rough passage? Or will the new components and architecture of computing come from outside the silicon economy, from the new forces of nanotechnology?

    Put it another way: Will nanotechnology save the chip industry or mount a challenge to it? More here

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