Slide 7 of 46
The study was proposed to explore a particular assumption: left unto itself, the silicon industrial base will continue to invest sufficient dollars in the appropriate areas to provide a COTS technology base suitable for military applications.
We also questioned industrys commitment to deliver the design capabilities needed to enable a wide range of electronic systems applications and maintain US competitiveness in the broader field of microelectronics.
A variety of analyses have been used to justify a large, healthy microelectronics industry well into the next century. One such analysis is shown above. By the end of the first quarter of the 21st Century, it is predicted that semiconductor sales will have grown 50-70 times world wide, on an inflation-adjusted basis, to over $12 trillion.
What is most important to note here is that the minimum transistor feature size predicted at that time represents a device we can build in the laboratory today. For the past quarter century, it was our ability to build working devices that was perceived to be the fundamental limit. Today it is clear that the limits are elsewhere, having more to do with our ability to fabricate 1B devices reliably on a single silicon chip.