Is Moore's Law about to die?
2009-06-22 0:00

By Christopher Null | YahooTech.com



It's one of the most famous maxims in the technology world: Moore's Law, originally conceived by Intel's Gordon Moore in 1965, posits that the number of transistors on a circuit will double every 1 1/2 to 2 years. That has held true -- like a rock -- since it was envisioned, from the 2,300 transistors on an Intel 4004 to the 2 billion or so transistors on a quad-core Itanium produced today.

But even Moore has cautioned that the Law won't be sustainable forever. The limits of physics -- the size and characteristics of electrons that have to move through these circuits, for example -- mandate that at some point, we'll either have to stop shrinking transistors (which is how you fit more and more of them on a chip) or move to another form of CPU that doesn't rely on traditional silicon. Either way, Moore's Law would no longer apply. Intel itself has predicted the imminent end of Moore's Law on many occasions, though its most recent prediction is that there is "no end in sight."

Research group iSuppli would beg to differ with that opinion, and says that not only is the end in sight, it's right around the corner: By 2014, the company says Moore's Law will cease to drive chip design, and for a reason unrelated to physics. Rather, it's economics that will kill Moore's Law as we know it.

The big shift comes, says iSuppli, when companies shrink transistor nodes to below 20nm. The problem has nothing to do with the chips themselves, but the equipment that will have to be built in order to make the chips. Since that equipment is really only useful during the lifetime of a single chip generation, it has to be depreciated over the life of that generation. At the 20nm point, equipment "costs will be so high, that the value of their lifetime productivity can never justify it," according to the company.

We still have a bit of time for that economic reality to alter itself. Today, chips utilizing 45nm connectors are standard, with 32nm on the horizon (Intel could have these chips out in 2010), and 22nm the next step after that. 16nm (or possibly 18nm) would mark the following step in the progression, a point at which we'd then be in the world of "nanoelectronics" where individual atoms may have to be manipulated to construct a CPU. And some companies, including Toshiba, already have early production plans announced at this level, though on a limited scale in comparison to Intel.

Given the current state of the tech industry, economic reality is indeed a tough thing to get past, but it would be sad if money alone stopped chip advances dead in their tracks. Anyone want to take up a collection? Save Moore's Law!

Article from: YahooTech.com






Jim Elvidge - Are we Living in a Simulation, a Programmed Reality?

Jim Elvidge - The Singularity, Nanobot's & Reality Simulation

Jim Elvidge - The Singularity Will Not Occur, Programmed Reality & Infomania

Jim Elvidge - Programmed Reality, The Power of 10, Science & The Soul

The Universe - Solved!







Related Articles
Moore's Law: "We See No End in Sight," Says Intel's Pat Gelsinger


Latest News from our Front Page

Anglo-Saxon Sword and Helmet from Staffordshire Hoard Reconstructed
2015-05-29 0:49
Thousands of metal fragments from the Staffordshire Hoard have been reconstructed into two "significant" new 7th Century objects. Researchers have pieced together parts of a silver helmet and a previously unseen form of sword pommel. The hoard, which is valued at £3.2m, was found in a field near Burntwood, Staffordshire in July 2009. Both items have been put on display at Birmingham's Museum ...
ALEC corruption: Legislators and corporate lobbyists meet in secret at Savannah resort
2015-05-28 23:59
The Georgia Legislature has a message for voters: don't ask us about our meetings with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors. The 11Alive Investigators tracked lawmakers to a resort hotel in Savannah last week, where we observed state legislators and lobbyists mingling in the hotel bar the night before they gathered in private rooms to decide what new laws would best serve ...
Swedish politician: US is the true cause of the masses of refugees from the Middle East
2015-05-28 20:13
Editors Note: And who controls US foreign policy? Listen to Jeff Gates. The present Swedish debate about war refugees from the Middle East is an example of peer restricted expression. In the name of political correctness or perceived decency, any questioning of maximum generosity in opening Swedish borders for the refugees is indignantly rejected by the official mainstream. We have a ...
Even if Patriot Act Expires, Government Will Keep Spying on All Americans
2015-05-28 19:52
Government Will Use "Secret Interpretations" to Get Around Legal Prohibitions Mass surveillance under the Patriot Act is so awful that even its author says that the NSA has gone far beyond what the Act intended (and that the intelligence chiefs who said Americans aren't being spied on should be prosecuted for perjury). Specifically, the government is using a "secret interpretation" of the ...
The TPP, Monsanto, Rockefeller, Trilateral Commission, Brzezinski
2015-05-28 19:18
All hands on deck for global, economic, corporate dictatorship There are dots to connect here. They're real, and they're spectacular. Let me begin with a brief exchange from a 1978 interview, conducted by reporter Jeremiah Novak. He was speaking with two American members of the Trilateral Commission (TC), a group founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and his intellectual flunkey, Zbigniew Brzezinski. NOVAK: ...
More News »