Over the past
30 years, computing power for a given cost has increased at a rate of
about 30% per year. This benefit is largely due to continuous technology
development that has allowed the critical dimensions of transistors to
be steadily reduced from 6 microns in 1971 to 0.13 microns today. The
size reduction increases speed and it has been achieved without a pro-rata
increase in cost. The reduction in transistor size is often called Moore's
Law and it is now used as an international benchmark of industry progress.
Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS)
is a formal representation of the anticipated developments in semiconductor
technology. The next 4 years are mapped out in some detail and approximate
projections are made to 2014. It therefore provides a series of performance
criteria that can be used to assess new and evolutionary technology on
an objective and quantitative way.