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June 8th, 2006

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04:23 pm - More than Moore
The rate at which system-on-package technology is developing is significantly faster than Moore's Law for transistors on integrated circuits. This will lead to much smaller and more powerful devices in the near future.

Article at IEEE Spectrum.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 8th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's neat for super-duper cell phones.

But it's terrible for small design firms and hobbyists, because thin film passives are far beyond the capacities of anything you can do in your spare room. Hopefully the resources and fab houses regarding normal PCBs stay in business for a good while yet.

It also sucks in terms of hacking the hardware, because it will be too difficult to modify the hardware aftermarket. Can't exactly crack them open without breaking them, which is a Problem.

Also, it's strange to me that people keep citing Moore's "law" in articles about this, as that applies to transistor counts on a semiconductor wafer, not "a bunch of unpackaged ICs and passives all stuck together". They say that 90% of the package contents are passive components, so I think the Moore reference is a non sequitur.
[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
The only way a hobbyist will be able to do anything in the future is molecular type of tools are available to him... Else, the technology will be too small for one to mess with.
[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
Well, this SOP stuff is still the future for now. I'm an electrical engineer by trade, and I can tell you the adoption of this technology will not happen overnight. And even then it will probably not be a total adoption. High end phone and PC vendors will go for it because it lets them do things they couldn't do before, but in the short run there will still be a lot of traditional style PCBs. PCBs will be cheaper for a good while, and no company will willingly spend more money to do something they could do cheaply.

Eventually, though, the SOP costs will come down to the point where it makes no economic sense to do PCBs and everyone will do it. And that will suck for anyone who likes electronics but is not a large engineering / manufacturing firm.

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