The Microchip Era Is Giving Way to the Megachip Age

If microchips were cities, the new, industrywide strategy for making them better could be summed up in one word: sprawl. In some case, the chips inside our most powerful devices are taking up so much real estate they hardly qualify as “micro” anymore.

One way engineers are making this happen is by piling microchips atop one another. It’s like urban infill, only instead of building towering new apartment blocks, the usually pancake-flat tiles of silicon inside of computers are becoming multistory, with the circuitry used for functions such as memory, power management and graphics stacked on top of each other.