Breaking The Law!September 1, 2015 at 7:00am
Breaking the Law.......well, sort of.
We are all familiar with Moore's Law; a prediction that the number of transistors on a semiconductor device would double every year (later revised to every two years), and the cost of these multiplying transistors would fall as their volume grows. For the past 5 decades, this law has held true. However, This “Law” is in jeopardy of being broken.
For the past several decades, the PC has been the steady consumer of semiconductors, and has enjoyed a steady rate of growth, especially the past 20 years. Yet the PC has been surpassed recently, as both business and personal computing has transitioned more prominently to tablets and smartphone devices. Mobile computing has taken the lead, and broken the chain-to-desk at home and work.
While the tiny feature of microchips shrink to line widths of 28, 20, and even 14 nanometers (for reference, a strand of human DNA is about 2.5 nanometers, and a piece of copy paper is about 100,000 nanometers in thickness), the cost of manufacturing these chips is actually starting to rise. Not only is the increase in price due to the cost of development and production, but also to smaller demand. While the world turns more and more to green and eco-friendly manufacturing solutions, the cost of disposing of chemical waste as by-products of manufacturing this technology increases.
So, while the semiconductor industry awaits the “next big thing” that will require the mass production of semiconductors the way the PC market did, a significant effort in cleaning up manufacturing is also underway. By identifying areas of improvement, the manufacturers can start cutting back on the cost of waste disposal with products like the cleaning solutions offered by UDM. As an example, our Dicing lubricants not only increase heat transfer to reduce thermal stress, enhance wafer cut quality, and extend blade life by 20-30%, but they are also biodegradable and non hazardous making them easily disposable and eco-friendly.
Is the answer for next generation chip mass production in mobile devices? Maybe. Until battery technology for these devices catches up (seemingly stuck in the 20th century), probably not. However, it could mean a large-volume, high-growth market should all of its “ducks” get in line.
In the meantime, consolidation of the powerhouse chip manufacturers is a growing trend. And, if you're a clean manufacturer with solutions to minimize environmental impact due to your commitment to the use of eco-friendly and biodegradable products in your manufacturing process, you may be more attractive than others. And these days, that matters more than ever.