The future of electronic components could lie in collaboration between different companies, rather than in-house innovation at any one firm.
Last week, IBM and Samsung announced a joint development agreement that will see engineers from Albany, New York and Seoul, South Korea working together on electronic components with new characteristics.
The news could be welcomed, for example, by advocates of Moore's Law, which states that the processing power of integrated circuits of the same size will roughly double every 18 months to two years.
With the two companies addressing semiconductor fabrication at the 20 nm scale, this miniaturisation could be expected to continue for some time to come, before entirely new methods of manufacture are required.
However, it is not only processors that are likely to be developed by the two companies through their collaboration.
Integrated circuits for use in smartphones and larger wireless communications infrastructure are also likely to be on the agenda in the coming months and years.