industry without the support for EUV from Star Wars. The existence in the national laboratories of basic research on EUV has greatly enhanced its attractiveness to industry.
A questioner observed that the amount of data being generated by the Human Genome Project is growing extremely rapidly. He asked Dr. Moore whether computer storage would keep pace with the growth of genome data.
Dr. Moore observed that the growth of storage capacity has maintained an exponential rate for approximately 40 years, a truly remarkable fact. Dr. Moore said he expected this growth to continue for several more years, as there remains room for more advances using traditional techniques. Dr. Penhoet commented that biology students at Berkeley spend about 25 percent of their time in front of the computer manipulating databases. Comparative biological research can now be conducted using databases alone, underscoring the need for improvements in storage capacity and computer technology.
Dr. Kathy Behrens observed that Dr. Moore had cited numerous examples of government-industry and intra-industry interactions in the development of the semiconductor industry. Dr. Behrens asked Dr. Moore if there were specific examples that might be useful today in sustaining the advances we have witnessed in the past 30 to 40 years.
With respect to EUV, Dr. Moore cited the industry’s relationship with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a government-industry collaboration that has been very mutually beneficial. Lawrence Livermore has brought tremendous assets to the development of EUV, and the semiconductor industry has invested $100 million annually to support the program. The EUV partnership, Dr. Moore observed, is probably the largest Cooperative Research and Development Agreement in place. In the computing area, government needs to continue to support high performance parallel computing. Such computers have widespread scientific applications, but only the government can afford them.
A member of the audience remarked how accurate Moore’s Law has proven to be, and asked Dr. Moore how much longer we could expect to see the law hold. Dr. Moore responded that the fact that materials are made of atoms would eventually hinder progress; problems at the atomic level would come into play within a decade. But that would not signify the end of progress; larger chips, advances in interconnection technology, and other advances will continue to improve the capacity of semiconductors.