"Silicon chips could become even more densely packed with transistors thanks to a breakthrough that carves features in silicon that are many times smaller than the wavelength of the light used to make them.Just about a year ago, I blogged on a CNET article on Moore's Law which noted that 65nm chips were already here. This article notes that 45nm chips are being used in computers today, with 32nm chips already being made in laboratories. Moore's Law is clearly holding thus far.
The new approach produces grids of parallel lines just 25 nanometers wide using light with a wavelength of 351 nm. The grids are not functional circuits but could be made into working chips by adding extra small features.
The technique could help us keep track with Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors we can fit on a chip will double every two years. ..."
This use of interference patterns (similar to what makes oily road surfaces appear multicolored when it rains) is not without its technical hurdles. Just being able to focus even short-waved ultraviolet light (350nm wavelength) to resolve features less than 1/10 that size is difficult.
But as long as smaller and smaller features can be etched into the silicon layer, then Moore's law will apply. Keep in mind that the next two years may bring 15nm chips -- which involve features about 30 atoms across. It's not going to hold forever.... At least not with silicon.