More memory. Why and how technology is always expanding its limits

Figura 3 - Crescita delle dimensioni di wafer di silicio negli ultimi 40 anni. Nella serie sono introdotti un compact disc ed una pizza per confronto.
Figura 3 - Crescita delle dimensioni di wafer di silicio negli ultimi 40 anni. Nella serie sono introdotti un compact disc ed una pizza per confronto.

From the first computers built with integrated circuits, that flied to the Moon, to the newest laptops with solid state drives, semiconductor industry experimented a giant technological leap. For more than 40 years, the development of microchips was driven by an exponential trend also known as “Moore’s Law”. This evolution followed a concerted roadmap whose fundamentals were the dimensional scaling and the increase in transistors count. Anyhow due to physical limitations, mainly related to atomic phenomena, and manufacturability concerns this kind of evolution seemed to come to an end. In order to keep meeting market’s demand, research faces new challenges that can be overtaken only with disruptive innovations and paradigm changes. The most rapresentative example is offered by FLASH memories that recently shifted from planar contraints to a three-dimensional world.

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