back to article TSMC doles out $1.4bn to buy Moore's Law breathing space

The Dutch maker of the lithography equipment used to etch the world's chips has been going cap in hand to its largest customers. ASML Holding wants its clients to fork out some co-development funds for the creation of next-generation 450mm silicon wafer-baking technology and the lithographic gear to etch ever-smaller …


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  1. spencer

    Now we need good design.

    It looks like the shrinking process is getting a bit pricey these days. So why not channel some resources to making more efficient designs.

    Things like:


    Better compilers to take advantage of GPUs

    More instructions per cycle

    etc etc...

    There are still massive bottlenecks happening in even normal day to day computer operations, so why not tackle them next?

    1. tpm (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Now we need good design.

      That will happen. It will have to.

      And maybe we will have to go back to compiling our code, too, instead of using so many interpreted languages. HA!

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Moore's law

    Was always an economic one - it said that they most cost effective way of making devices was to put more on a wafer. In the good times it was basically the same cost to build each new fab at a smaller rule size. The problem with going to 22nm has been that it now costs more than 2x as much to put 2x as many devices on the wafer - so you are, at the moment, cheaper sticking to 28nm.

  3. CandleForex

    If I remember physics correctly UV is in the range of 10 nm to 400 nm.

    Currently lithography for chip (according to the article) will be 13.5 nm.

    What happens once they try to go past 10 nm? What will they do then?

    1. Ru

      There are more than enough problems with the current process sizes... even assuming there is suitable tooling available, sub-10nm features are going to have even more inconvenient quantum problems; possibly enough that making conventional semiconductors at that scale just isn't practical.

      In theory you could do all sorts of crazy things with a free electron laser tuned to some suitable x-ray wavelength and use diffraction to focus the beam, but that's basically science fiction at this point.

      Besides, all the cool kids are looking at graphene to save the world, these days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Double Patterning

        DPM technology is already in use.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    This all makes the LHC seem like loose change at a mere £2.5 Billion.

    It almost seems counter-intinutive that small things cost so much.

    1. Ru

      Don't have any children, eh?

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


        Don't have any children, eh?

        Nope !

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