Question About The Future of Chip Manufacturing

in dPoll4 months ago

Question About The Future of Chip Manufacturing


I was having a great conversation with one of my blockchain friends @builderofcastles You can read them in full under this article. He is a very smart person who want to do great things and he presented the following idea:

Since i won't be able to make Super-dense-Super-small ICs with home grown technology...
My idea is to design a chip that is scalable sideways.
Like the idea of a 1 bit computer. Then using 32 in parallel to make a 32 bit computer.

So, i was thinking of dozens of small processors built up on glass (chips on glass)
You would have a processor dedicated for all kinds of things we use a CentralPU for now.
Like one chip handles I/O. One chip handles memory. One chip handles hard drive access.
One chip dedicatedly run the linux kernel.

This is one of those ideas that is hard to tell if it is just a neat thought experiment, or OMG, this is the way all computers will be in the future...

My thoughts were that this is similar to what is already being tried out with Koinos or what Linux users (especially Arch users) are doing with their customization. With better accessibility for hardware development, we could see a niche of building your own chips as you would build a PC instead of buying something off the shelf.

History and Economics of Chiplets


I think large scale companies would end up using this modular approach to build their custom chips and sell them to consumers like what they do with those anti-repair laptops. RISC-V has made chip building more accessible. Yet the barriers are still very high. I still believe we will see a future where a niche of consumers would be able to build their own chips the same way some people build their own PCs.

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A while ago, CNC was a very specialized market.
Today, you can get kits to CNC your Mill, lathe, or even built a CNC router.

3D printing has made this even more ubiquitous and cheap and easy to access.

Sooo, creating chips is not that hard, every step is easy.
However, you are working in tiny tiny units, where things like vibration of motors affects the outcome.

Anyway, it isn't a stretch for a person with enough drive, to start making something as complex as an 8080 in a homegrown die etching system.

However, there is so many little pieces, and the journey is long. The little pieces stack up.
And a tiny failure, any failure, destroys the whole chip.

But once someone gets a small CPU level chip, then these may become ubiquitous as 3D printers today.

But once someone gets a small CPU level chip, then these may become ubiquitous as 3D printers today.

I cannot wait to see this happen. We can start replacing smaller chips on various devices like home appliances improve the craft from there. We need to get the 100th monkey effect working on this democratization of hardware.

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I feel like the concept doesn't really scale because of long switching distances and power consumption.

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