Daniel Nenni has started a conversation on his creation Semiwiki with the provocative title: "Are 28 nm Transistors the Cheapest...Forever?"
It appears that after (thanks EDAC) having addressed only technology issues for fifty years, the industry is finally realizing that we are all in this in order to make a profit. Daniel deals almost exclusively with fabrication costs, but I think that there is a significant, and growing, body of evidence to show that development costs also justify his conclusion.
The work involved in preparing a circuit for fabrication, given the highly restrictive, and foundry dependent, design rules, force designers to spend significant more time creating a floorplan that can be diffused and exposed with a high probability of acceptable yields. The 28 nm process is the last node that has some relationship with the shrinking methods that have followed Moore's "law" governing semiconductors manufacturing.
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