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Not making Atoms Smaller @UoPortsmouth


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It is just 70yrs since the invention of the transistor; and just a few years later, the integrated circuit and the emergence of Moore's Law. This predicted ever increasing function density as transistor size decreased on an exponential law ... And for the last 50yr society has enjoyed through the ever increasing sophistication of what has become known as 'Technology Products'. But we know that all exponents have to end someday, and as current transistor sizes are getting close to that of the atom itself, we have to ask if that day imminent?

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Not making Atoms Smaller @UoPortsmouth

  1. 1. 1 © Ian Phillips 2017 They're not making atoms any smaller! ... The future for Electronic System Products? Invited talk at the ... Portsmouth and district Physical Society with Institute of Physics South Central Branch. @the University of Portsmouth 15feb17 Prof. Ian Phillips Principal Staff Eng’r. ARM Ltd (Retired Dec16) Visiting Prof. at ... Contribution to Industry Award 2008 1v0
  2. 2. 2 § 1947: William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain Just 70yrs since the First Transistor ... FirstTransfer-Resistor (Point-Contact) First Junction Transistor ‘ ’ i i
  3. 3. 3 § Very different ‘Architecture’ § And different ‘Modes’ of transistor action emerging => § £’s per transistor ... So use sparingly! 1951: Just 2yrs later; the First Commercial Transistors 1954:The OC71
  4. 4. 4 c1960: 7-Transistor Radio Commonplace
  5. 5. 5 Radio is Just Signal Processing ... Bush Radio (c1960) Analogue 7 Transistors 1 Diode Evoke DAB Radio (c2005) Digital 100 M Transistors ! 2-3 Embedded Processors BTH Crystal Set (c1925) Analogue 1 Diode Tele-Verta Radio (c1945) Analogue 4 Valves 1 Rectifier Valve ... Integration Technology made transistors diminishingly cheap, thus opened the door to Digital Signal Processing When active components are expensive ... ... use them frugally and efficiently
  6. 6. 6 Radio as Computation ... Vrf=Vi*100 Vlo=Cos(t*1^6) Vi Vrf Vif=Vrf*Vlo Vlo Vif Vro='Bandpass'(Vif*1000) Vro Architecture
  7. 7. 7 Radio as Computation ... Vrf=Vi*100 Vlo=Cos(t*1^6) Vi Vrf Vif=Vrf*Vlo Vlo Vif Vro='Bandpass'(Vif*1000) Vro Valve Technology Architecture
  8. 8. 8 Radio as Computation ... Vrf=Vi*100 Vlo=Cos(t*1^6) Vi Vrf Vif=Vrf*Vlo Vlo Vif Vro='Bandpass'(Vif*1000) Vro Transistor Technology Architecture
  9. 9. 9 Radio as Computation ... Vrf=Vi*100 Vlo=Cos(t*1^6) Vi Vrf Vif=Vrf*Vlo Vlo Vif Vro='Bandpass'(Vif*1000) Vro Architecture ‘Integrated Circuit’ Technology
  10. 10. 10 1957/8: The Planar Transistor => Integrated Circuit Kilby 1958: The First Integrated Circuit. … Just 3 Components
  11. 11. 11 1961: First Commercial Integrated Circuit (IC) § And the birth of Digital Electronics ... § Much less efficient; but much more scalable § More absolute and reproducible results § A natural ‘architecture’ for State-Based control § State machines (and ultimately processors) § Memory Fairchild: “Flip-Flop” (4 transistors, 2 resistors). $120. 4mm Robert Noyce Founder of Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968
  12. 12. 12 1965: Moore’s Law § “Moore's Law” was coined by Carver Mead in 1970, from Gordon Moore's article in Electronics Magazine 19 April 1965 "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits“. “The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year ... Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000. I believe that such a large circuit can be built on a single wafer” In 1965 he was designing ICs with ~80 components! And basing his observations on 30-40 component ICs!
  13. 13. 13 1965: Integrating 30-40 components ... § Transistor Transistor Logic (TTL)...
  14. 14. 14 10nm 100nm 1um 10um 100um ApproximateProcessGeometry ITRS’99 Transistors/Chip(M)’s_law Moore’s Law: 50 yrs of Technology Driven Opportunity ... Transistor/PM(K) X ... 20,000x transistors, and 10x speed in last 25yrs!
  15. 15. 15 2012: Moore’s Law got 45nmTransistors into Production ... NB: The Tegra 3 is similar to the Apple A4 NVIDIA’sTegra 3 Processor Chip (Around 1B tr.) ... A further ~100x Functionality due to Connective Complexity!
  16. 16. 16 But in 70yrs the Atoms have not got any SMALLER ! § Growing opinion that 10 or 7nm will be the smallest yieldable node ... Ever! § Just 2-3 gen. (3-6yr) to the end of ‘Planar’ Scaling !? ... So is this the end for Moore’s Law ? 130nm 90nm 28nm 14nm 7nm § Already getting Seriously Difficult ... § Difficulty Making nm scale Transistors & Interconnect … § Sharply Increasing Process Complexity and Cost § Reduces Yield and Reliability § Changing Design and Photolithography § The Statistical Nature of Atoms shows through ... § Makes Transistor electrical characteristics randomly variable § Significantly Increasing Design Complexity § Power, Speed and Cost benefit of scaling stopped at 100nm (Dennard Scaling)
  17. 17. 17 nm 28 3um 2um 1.5um 800 1.0um (1000 nm) 500 350 250 180 90 130 65 45 32 22 Like Painting 1” lines with a 4” Paintbrush ... Infra-red Ultra-violet 720nm 380nm X-rays red blood cell measles virus catalase 193nm “Deep UV” Excimer Laser 16nm “Extreme UV” Ionized Tin Silicon Atom = 0.2nm Silicon Crystal = 0.54nm 430nm “Deep Blue” Mercury Vapor Sub-Wavelength Sub-Wavelength ‘optical tricks’ such as immersion lithography, dual-tone resist and multiple patterning
  18. 18. 18 Moor’s Law has been maintained for 50yrs by Teamwork … Apple: A7 Chip, 10 Layer Metal Intel: 22nm FIN-FET (2.5D) ASML: EUV 13.6nm Stepper ($100m) A.Assenov: Atomic-Level Process Modelling § Improving Transistor and Process Architectures ... § Photolithography Lenses, Masks and Photo-Chemistry § Manufacturing Machines and Metrology Tools § Mechanics (Handling, Alignment) and Control § Process and Environment Control § Understanding of Physics § Use of more Elements § Better Process Modelling
  19. 19. 19 § General Purpose, Stored Program, Computing Mechanism § Technology: Electronics (valves), Digital (base 2) § Available today ... Enhanced by Micro-Electronics (Mainframe <=> Laptop) Computing Drove Electronic Technology in 1947 … Uo.Manchester, BABY Computer (Reconstruction 2000)
  20. 20. 20 Does High Performance Computing Drive Technology today? § HPCs, Mainframes & Workstations … § Professional Electronic Systems § Weather, Military and Financial § Highest in-box performance needs § ‘Streches the envelope’ § Surely such challenges must always be the Technology Driver !! NO !… They don’t have enough Market Volume/Value to justify Technology Development Costs !
  21. 21. 21 Consumer Drives Technology Development … Purchased and Used by Consumers. Chosen for Function not Technology
  22. 22. 22 ... ‘Old’ Markets remain today; but they inherit their Technologies from the Lead Markets! Business Opp’ty Has Always Driven Technology Evolution 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 Millionsof Units 1st Era Select work-tasks 2nd Era Broad-based computing for specific tasks 3rd Era Computing as part of our lives But End-Customer has evolved from Professional to Consumer
  23. 23. 23 10nm 100nm 1um 10um 100um ApproximateProcessGeometry ITRS’99 Transistors/Chip(M) Transistor/PM(K)’s_law Designer Productivity was always the Challenge ...
  24. 24. 24 10nm 100nm 1um 10um 100um ApproximateProcessGeometry ITRS’99 Transistors/Chip(M) Transistor/PM(K)’s_law ... Without >90% Reuse, today’s Electronic Systems would be Un-Producible ! Designer Productivity was always the Challenge ... Global TeamsLocal TeamsSmall TeamSingle Designer Expertise ReuseHW&SW ReuseSome ReuseClean Sheet
  25. 25. 25 How to Utilize ‘A few Billion’ Transistors ... SanDisk: 19nm 128Gb flash memory chip ... At least 60,000m (60B) transistors § Regular Structures like Memory are excellent ... § BUT it has to have a use in the System Context (No use just filling a chip with memory!) § Function-Blocks are also essential (CPU’s GPU’s, Accelerators, Encryption, etc) § These are large reusable blocks in themselves § They also facilitate the use of memory (0n-chip and nearby) ... Processors (aka Software-Engines) are especially useful because they also enable External-Design of functionality (Software)
  26. 26. 26 1991:The ARM RISC-Processor IP Core …
  27. 27. 27 ARM7 Core DMA Par. Port PCMCIA UART (2) Int’t. Contr. Memory Interface Timers W’Dog Arb’tr. Misc. 1991: ARM RISC-Processor IP Core …
  28. 28. 28 Designer Productivity Had Become the Methodology Driver § The Product Possibilities offered by utilising the Billions of Affordable and Aesthetically Encapsulate-able Transistors is Commercially Beguiling! § But the only way to realise these possibilities in a reasonable time, with a reasonable team and at a reasonable cost; is huge amounts of Reuse of Design and Technology ... § Hardware, Software and other Technologies; Methods and Tools § In-Company: Sourced and Evolved from Predecessor Products § Ex-Company: Sourced from businesses with lesser-known(?) Histories, but Specialist Knowledge § Reuse Improves Quality; as objects are designed more carefully, and bug-fixes are incremental § But beware; systems always have residual errors! ... Now; Clean-Sheet approaches will be several orders of magnitude higher cost! … So; >99% Reuse is the rule for all Electronic System Product Design and Development! ... Including; specialised Professional Electronic System Applications/Products
  29. 29. 29 Software Tools - The character of the system Physical IP – The process-specific logic-blocks of the chip Processor and Graphics IP – The engine of the chip 2016: ARM IP - Same Concept, but much more System ... § And System Designers use ever-more Reuse Objects (Virtual and Physical) from ARM and from other sources Internally and Externally Early software development on Virtual Platforms Power MgmtBluetooth Cellular Modem WiFi SIM GPS Flash Controller Touchscreen & Sensor Hub Sensor Hub Camera Apps Processor
  30. 30. 30 ARM CPU/GPUs are Software-Engines ... ... A range with different functional sweet-spots for different applications About 50MTr About 50KTr
  31. 31. 31 ... ARM supplies around 24 Processors in 6 Families ... ... Processors optimised to be used Alone or in Combination to best-fit the Application
  32. 32. 32 ... With CoreLink for Heterogeneous Multi-Processing ... ACE ACE NIC-400 Network Interconnect Flash GPIO NIC-400 USBQuad Cortex- A15 L2 cache Interrupt Control CoreLink™ DMC-520 x72 DDR4-3200 PHY AHB Snoop Filter Quad Cortex- A15 L2 cache Quad Cortex- A15 L2 cache Quad Cortex- A15 L2 cache CoreLink™ DMC-520 x72 DDR4-3200 8-16MB L3 cache PCIe 10-40 GbE DPI Crypto CoreLink™ CCN-504 Cache Coherent Network IO Virtualisation with System MMU DSP DSP DSP SATA Dual channel DDR3/4 x72 Up to 4 cores per cluster Up to 4 coherent clusters Integrated L3 cache Up to 18 AMBA interfaces for I/O coherent accelerators and IO Peripheral address space Heterogeneous processors – CPU, GPU, DSP and accelerators Virtualized Interrupts Uniform System memory ... Platform Models and Development Systems to help the customer develop their Product
  33. 33. 33 … Tools, Libraries and Partners to Realize the Opportunities § Technology to build Electronic System solutions: § Software, Drivers, OS-Ports, Tools, Utilities to create efficient system with optimized software solutions § Diverse Physical Components, including CPU and GPU processors designed for specific tasks § Interconnect System IP delivering coherency and the quality of service required for lowest memory bandwidth § Optimised Cell-Libraries for a highly optimized SoC implementations § Well Connected to Partners in the Life-Cycle: § For complementary tools and methods required by System Developers § Global Technology Global Partners: § ~1000 Partners; Millions of Developers
  34. 34. 34 Supplying in the Life-Cycle of Electronic System Products ARM Chips shipped in 2014 by ARM Partners ARM Chips Shipped to Date by ARM Partners
  35. 35. 35 § ARM is a UK Established and Headquartered Co. § The Global Leader for Embedded CPU-IP ... § Effectively Outsourcing R&D for companies building Chips and Electronic-System products § Technology Reuse shares the development and maintenance cost over Multiple Users and Applications § Technology Roadmap Preserves customers Investment § Innovative Business Model yields high margins § Upfront license fee – flexible licensing models § Ongoing royalties – typically a percentage of chip price ... ARM’s Virtual Product Creates New and Transforms Existing markets A 21c ‘Virtual’ Business 2-3 20+ years Multiple applications development and sales 2-3 years Partner chip development 2-3 years ARM research and development Cost incurred License revenue $ Royalty revenue $ ~1,200 total licenses … 163 in 2014 >350 potential royalty payers 12bn ARM-based chips 2014 20% CAGR over last 5 years ~£820m Revenue (~28% on R&D) ~3,300 Employees ww (~1,400 in the UK) … Figures from ARMY2014 Published Results (Pre SoftBank acquisition)
  36. 36. 36 Design its about Delivering a Commercial Opportunity ... § Designers create (Technology Based) Stuff to be a Valuable and Viable Product ... § Functional - It has GOT to work § Economical - Its cost has got to be less than its value § Reproducible – It has to Yield, be Distributable and Reliable (enough) § Innovative – It has to be Competitive against alternative implementations § They Deliver a Promise for the future ... § Certainty § Timescales § Development and Manufacturing Costs § Quality (Dependability and Reliability) § And they base it on the use of Appropriate Available Technology ... § Not the fanciest, newest or optimistically promised (Have to judge between claim and reality) § It is about working with others (teams) internally and externally to deliver § It is about thinking around and about the problem, and being ingenious in the solution (Ingineer!) ... The Designers Role is to Create a Marketable Product Differentiation!
  37. 37. 37 Technology in an iConic Technology-Product ...
  38. 38. 38 But Design Actually Happens at Many Levels Below this ...
  39. 39. 39 Inside the Case ... Down 1-Level: Modules iPhone 4's vibrator motor. rear-facing 5 MP camera with 720p video at 30 FPS, tap to focus feature, and LED flash. Source ...
  40. 40. 40 Take a Look Inside... The Control Board. Level-1: Modules
  41. 41. 41 Inside The Control Board (A-side) Level-2: Sub-Assemblies § Visible Computing Contributors ... § Samsung: Flash Memory - NV-MOS § Cirrus Logic: Audio Codec - Bi-CMOS § AKM: Magnetic Sensor - MEM-CMOS § Texas Instruments:Touch Screen Controller and mobile DDR - Analogue-CMOS § RF Filters - SAW-Technology § Invisible Computing Contributors ... § OS, Drivers, Stacks, Applications, GSM, Security, Graphics, Video, Sound, etc § Software Tools, Debug Tools, etc
  42. 42. 42 Inside The Control Board (B-side) Level-2: Sub-Assemblies § More Visible Computing Contributors ... § A4 Processor. Spec:Apple, Design & Mfr: Samsung Digital-CMOS (?nm) ... § Provides the iPhone 4 with its GP & Graphical computing power. § ARM CPU and other ARM IP based § Imagination Tech. GPU § ST-Micro: 3 axis Gyroscope - MEM-CMOS § Broadcom: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS - Analogue-CMOS § Skyworks: GSM Analogue-Bipolar § Triquint: GSM PA Analogue-GaAs § Infineon: GSM Transceiver - Anal/Digi-CMOS GPS Bluetooth, EDR &FM
  43. 43. 43 The A4 SIP Package (Cross-section) Down 3-Levels: IC Packaging § The processor is the centre rectangle. The silver circles beneath it are solder balls. § Two rectangles above are RAM die, offset to make room for the wirebonds. § Putting the RAM close to the processor reduces latency, making RAM faster and cuts power. § Unknown Mfr (Memory) § Samsung/Apple/ARM (Processor) § Unknown (SIP Technology) Source ... Processor SOC Die 2 Memory Dies Glue Memory ‘Package’ 4-Layer Platform Package’
  44. 44. 44 § The most important technology is the one that you ‘don’t have’, that your competitors do!! § That includes technologies that you ‘thought you had’ (ie: Don’t work as you expected them to!) The Chips (and their Processes) are Important … … But they are NOT The Most Important part of a Product Down 4-levels: Chip Design(s)
  45. 45. 45 Many Virtual-Components in todays iCons ØAnalogue and Digital Design ØEmbedded Software ØSignal Processing ØDisplays and Transducer Technology ØSystem Knowledge and Know-How ØResearch (Preparation) ØEducation and Training ØComponent, Sub-System and Systems Design and Qual’n ØMicro-Machines (MEMs) ØMechanics, Plastics and Glass Tech. ØMetrology, Methodology and Tools ØManufacture (Reproduction), Robotics and Test ... Only Physical Components appear on the BOM … Virtual Components are out of sight (and mind!)
  46. 46. 46 The Market’s Insatiable Appetite for: New – Better - Cheaper § Our 21c Society expects ever More Sophisticated Tech. Products at ever Lower Cost § And for ~50yrs Planar Shrinking of CMOS has delivered this ... But we have become myopic about alternatives! ... The Market doesn’t mandate Smaller Processes as the way to deliver it! § Since ~100nm (~2005) Si shrinks have slowed, got more intricate and expensive ... Yet ‘Shrinking’ has continued as normal, as designers re-focused on System-Design to deliver it ... § Delivering System performance through integration of multiple-technologies ... ... All equally important now! § Through (Re)use of Physical and Virtual Components for Quality and Productivity § Through Device and System Architecture and Methods § Through integrated Manufacturing and Business Models ... The slowing of Moore’s Law for Si hasn’t meant the end of ‘System Shrinking’! … So in the 21c it is clear that Moore’s Law is actually about Functional Density ... so its delivery is not inextricably bound to the size of transistors!
  47. 47. 47 Conclusions § Over the last 70yrs, the Transistor has transformed our Lives ... § We have become used to Technology advancing at an exponential pace to continuously- improve all aspects of Societal and Individual needs, whilst reducing the cost § But as Integrated Transistors approach atomic size; we approach a nadir, where further Si-technology enabled advancement is increasingly difficult ... The end of Moore’s Law? § But whilst the capability of Silicon to deliver is already reducing; Products are maintaining expectation by include a wider scope of technologies to deliver it at the System-Level § The Transistor is not dead, but is no-longer the epicenter of the product; the 21c Product is an alloy of technologies delivering cost-effective End-Product Functionality. § Moore’s Law was arguably always a doubling of System-Functionality every 18-24 mth; and in that vein shows every sign of continuing for the foreseeable future!
  48. 48. 48 © Ian Phillips 2017 Thankyou for Listening ... ... And Good Luck with the next 50yrs of Moore’s Law J