The word ‘innovation’ is often thrown around lightly, as if it just happens. Moore’s Law may seem to be as predictable as the coming of the Indy 500. But lock up your brakes, because there’s often a wall of uncertainty in the way. Being innovative is not so easy.
When most people think innovation in a classical way. There’s a lone innovator who likes to tinker and has a vision of the future that no one else can see. Sometimes there are two or so people who like to tinker together. They then go on to build giant companies. Examples of classic innovators are Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, Steve Jobs, Akio Morita, Larry Page and Sergei Brin.
Innovation in Semiconductors is nothing like this. It is self-organizing with thousands of people and billions of dollars being tasked inside hundreds of companies to pull massive industry-wide jumps forward. And when a new generation of semiconductors is ready, it has to run for more than just a race day. Yet somehow, it all comes together and the industry makes a great leap forward to the next node.