Re: EBL the 3D printer of chip manufacture
Well . not quite.
The thing is yes you can *easily* etch just about anything, but the handling is way more complicated if there are different sizes different chips etc. on every wafer.
Besides, there's always a percentage of bad dies, so if you just printed it once and it doesn't work you're screwed -> i.e. you need to have a minimum order (make that one wafer for example) - still a lot of overhead due to number of different designs / etc.
You have to take into account that designs are generally reviewed several times before the final printing, and tweaking of the manufacturing process is often required to reach the desired yields. Etc.
All in all, yes you may one day be able to print any chip you want, but you will never have access to the last 5 nodes in such a reliable manner as you described (i.E. print it - it works).
This means that even if your chip was 3.7 times more efficient than a mainstream chip, it'd end up just as bad because of the scaling factors ;)
There will be major changes in the silicon industry, and there will be many more players (as today shows) involved than just good old IBM / Intel / AMD (and a few minor others) - as we can see today : many chinese developing different CPU's / APU's etc. including a lot of ARM (outside of china as well), some Alpha etc.
BUT . the reason Intel is alive today is because they were first on almost every single node . As long as research and deployment of fabs remains *that* expensive, the number of market players will remain small.
We see it today, where medfield can hold it's own against ARM just because it's one and a half node later (32nm vs 45nm)
We'll see it again tomorrow, when Intel releases Haswell with a crappy oversized IGP, one node below Trinity and just about as power efficient / capable. - another fab win for fabzilla ;)