The end of Moore’s law: Q&A with POET technologies’ Peter Copetti

AMD Quad Core

AMD Quad Core

In the third and final installment on the Moore’s Law series, Graeme Lipschitz sits down with POET technologies executive, Peter Copetti, to discuss their technology and what they’re doing to counteract the end game of Moore’s Law.

Memeburn: What is POET Technologies and what do you do?

Peter Copetti: POET Technologies (formerly OPEL Technologies) provides a patented process and methodology for the design and manufacturing of next generation integrated circuits, which will power the next wave of chipset innovation. The POET platform is a flexible one that utilizes gallium and arsenide instead of traditional silicon which allows for a quantum step forward in efficiency, speed and cost over present technologies.

By providing integrated circuit gallium arsenide devices containing both electronic and optical elements on a single chip, this has significant advantages over today’s solutions in terms of density, reliability and power, at a lower cost. In addition, the platform builds upon and extends existing design, software and processes and doesn’t require semiconductor manufacturers to change equipment.

POET Technologies’ technical team consists of a group of PhDs and engineers focusing on physics, electronics, optics, design, testing and fabrication processes, plus technical support, led by Dr. Geoffrey Taylor.

MB: What problem is POET Technologies solving?

PC: For almost 50 years, Moore’s Law has dictated the pace of technological change, by doubling the number of transistors on a chip every 1.5 to two years to increase performance capabilities to computing devices such as smartphones, laptops and networks. The problem is that Moore’s Law cannot be sustained indefinitely and is predicted to come to an end within the next decade.

By integrating optics and electronics onto one monolithic chip, POET Technologies provide its customers with a rebirth of Moore’s Law and a new wave of chipset innovation. An optoelectronic device using POET technology can achieve estimated cost savings back to the manufacturer of 80 percent compared to the hybrid silicon devices that are widely used today.

MB: What’s different about your products vs. your competitors?

PC: To our knowledge, while there are efforts underway to develop a similar platform by other semiconductor companies, there is no one who has made significant progress towards a Moore’s Law solution.

Today, alternatives to silicon-based semiconductors are being developed to address the limitations of Moore’s Law. However, these solutions – which include different compounds such as silicon-germanium (SiGe), indium phosphide (InP) and gallium nitride (GaN) are based on high-cost hybrid manufacturing technologies. While there are also a few other alternatives in R&D mode, it’s still unknown when they will be available.

The POET platform, based in gallium arsenide, differs from other competing semiconductor processes as it is compatible with other semiconductor capabilities and manufacturing systems (which no other existing process can do) and removes the need for retooling, while providing lower costs, power savings and increased reliability.

MB: What types of organizations will benefit from using POET Technologies’ platform?

PC: POET Technologies’ potential customers are companies that design and manufacture chips which reach across the society spectrum of medical, industrial, internet, law enforcement, transportation, networks, communications, wireless and even energy industries.

MB: What are the most interesting trends in the market?

PC:The end of Moore’s Law: It’s not a question of when Moore’s Law will end, but what next. Rather than focus on how many more years we can expect Moore’s Law to last, let’s look at the opportunities for new developments and solutions to continue advancements in computing. POET offers an answer.

Faster, smaller AND more efficient computing: There’s been some feuding in the marketplace between a few of the major vendors on whether speed or size is the more important innovation in today’s semiconductor products. But powered by the right technology you don’t have to choose. You can have speed, size AND efficiency.

Global macroeconomic development: As more and more people around the world are able to access technology – improving education, healthcare and economic opportunity –technology will continue to expand its positive impact powered by innovations like POET.

MB: What’s your vision for the future?

PC: We want to provide the next wave of innovation for chipsets to extend the future of Moore’s Law for another 50 years. Quantum computing will be the next major wave of innovation and POET is positioned to become the baseline technology for all future computing and communication systems.

Image: Junesy (via Flickr).



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