Moore says Moore's Law to hit wall

Gregory Sullivan (
Mon, 6 Oct 1997 15:55:08 -0400 (EDT)

Hal Finney <> said:

Personally, I think we are going to hit a big wall in computer technology
in the next ten years. They can't keep making silicon features smaller
indefinitely, the electric fields (voltage over distance, and voltage
can't drop below the diode bias voltage which is an inherent aspect of
the chemistry) if nothing else will cause problems. Other technologies
will have to be developed to replace silicon. It may happen, but there
is nothing which looks very practical as a replacement right now.

End Finney quote

Relevant to this topic there is a recent article at Cnet entitled:
"Moore says Moore's Law to hit wall"
By Michael Kanellos
September 30, 1997,4,14751,00.html

An excerpt:
Moore's Law is coming into direct conflict with the law of nature. So says
Gordon Moore.

Intel's chairman emeritus told an audience at the Intel Developer Forum
today that the industry's ability to shrink a microprocessor through
improved manufacturing processes is going to start butting up against
the finite size of atomic particles. Barring a radical shift in
microprocessor science, this means that the ability of the industry
to double the computing power of a chip every 18 months (known as
Moore's Law) may slow.

Moore in fact showed an electromagnetic image of a microprocessor
made under Intel's currently cutting-edge ".25 micron" chip production
technology, in which the individual atomic layers could be counted and

Some time in the next several years we get to some finite limits,
but not before we get through five generations," Moore said. According
to one study, the physical limitations could be reached by 2017.

"That's well beyond my shift," he quipped. "So someone else can do it."

End excerpt. The rest of the article is available at:,4,14751,00.html

The end of Moore's law has been predicted multiple times by individuals
involved in manufacturing . However, advances in materials and processes
have kept occurring to keep Moore's law roughly on track.

Building structures at the atomic level certainly seems to depend on
primarily bottom-up procedures instead of top-down lithographic
procedures. Perhaps one could use a hybrid approach based on
self-assembly of molecular subunits guided by larger lithographically
built structures, or maybe molecular nanotechnology will mature.

Gregory Sullivan