Moore's Law no longer valid, says Morris Chang
Josephine Lien, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES [Wednesday 25 October 2017]

Moore's Law has become invalid for a while, as the time needed for the transistor density to double is no longer 18-24 months although the density has indeed kept increasing, Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), has said in a recent tech forum hosted by the firm to mark its 30th anniversary.

Moore's Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, reflects his observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years at most.

Chang said that the timeframe set in Moore's Law is no longer applicable. He said TSMC has kept increasing transistor density, but not at a pace according to the law.

Based on his firm's internal planning, Chang said, TSMC will continue to increase transistor densities in the coming eight years, but will see a major challenge in 2025.

Chang continued that dicussions about the applicability of Moore's Law in recent years have often focused on ASML, a leading semiconductor lithography equipment supplier, because the company is now the world's only supplier of EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography equipment and EUV technology bears a great responsibility of keeping Moore's Law valid. Chang said major semiconductor firms have been keen to incorporate EUV technology into their 7nm process.

ASML CEO Peter Wennick said at the same forum that his company has worked out its technology development plans through 2030.

Chang said and it might be technologically feasible for ASML to carry out the plans, but the economic feasibility of the plans would meet with challenges before 2030.