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A young Gordon Moore circa 1975  (Source: Reuters)
Gordon Moore took part in the afternoon keynote during IDF 2007

The fall edition of the 2007 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is officially underway from the San Francisco Moscone Center.  The Tuesday morning keynote featured more details about the Nehalem architecture as one of the main points of the discussion.

In a later session, Dr. Moira Gunn, host of NPR Tech Nation, hosted a fireside chat with Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder and creator of Moore's Law.  Moore received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowded conference hall packed with thousands of attendees more than willing to respect a Silicon Valley legend.  

Of course, the question on everyone's mind was the validity of Moore's Law. Specifically, whether or not it holds up today the same way it did when Moore first documented his observations almost forty years ago.

Moore's Law -- actually more of a conjecture -- essentially states the number of transistors placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years.  His observation helped outline trends the semiconductor industry for more than 40 years. 

"We have another decade, a decade and a half, before we hit something that is fairly fundamental," Moore said during the session.  That something "fundamental" is material science.  Even the most advanced lithography conceivable today can't eliminate the brick wall that is the nanoscale. 

Even at some point, lining up individual atoms no longer becomes feasible for transistor design.  Researchers from Intel are already easing into the field of using carbon nanotubes for processor interconnects; a team from the University of Pennsylvania just announced a new method for storing data via phase-changing nanowires.

"It's an exciting time," he said.  "I'd love to come back in 100 years and see what happened in the meantime."

Of course, even Moore's understanding of transistor trends is no match for the prowess of ambitious engineers. Conventional computing principles go out the window with the advent of quantum computing, for example.  Other types of alternative computing, including biological-based neural-computing, does not readily translate to transistor-count -- but that hasn't stopped researchers from making enormous progress in the last few years.

The death of Moore's Law is imminent, but new research and new materials assure that its successor will pack the same punch.

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Already dead
By masher2 on 9/19/2007 12:05:59 PM , Rating: 4
In my opinion, Moore's Law already died quite some time ago. At its heart, its a simple statement of geometry. Since die area is quadratic on feature size, if one moves to new process nodes in linear time, transistor counts will double each node, rising exponentially.

But do we move to new process nodes linearly? When Moore first stated his "law" in 1965, he gave the interval of 12 months. In the early 1980s, Intel was quoting it as 18 months. Today, its been revised to "about two years" between nodes. In a decade, Intel will be telling us Moore's Law means "transistor counts double every 3-4 years".

Any relationship looks linear if you examine a small enough section of it. Moore's Law is just a reflection of this.

RE: Already dead
By KristopherKubicki on 9/19/2007 12:12:50 PM , Rating: 4
There's two conjectures to Moore's "Law" -- storage density and transistor density. I think if you look at the research chips, you'll see Moore's Law is holding up fine. The 32nm test shuttle that Intel announced yesterday was 1.9 billion transistors per chip. Then again, Moore's Law doesn't say anything about "production" level hardware.

However, you'll see that storage densities doubling every 12 months to two years is "sort of" dead. It's clear that hard drive densities certainly aren't increasing that fast. NAND "sort of" made huge progress switching from SLC to MLC -- but again that's not really production yet anyway.

The part that irks me a little is Moore's Law clearly originated around transistor count for logic. in the 1980s, those insane leaps of transistor count were all core logic. Now we have chips that are a billion or so transistors, but 800 million of which are cache.

It's hard to discount this, given that the original conjecture revolved around transistor count AND storage density, but its also easy to say the "spirit" of the conjecture is not what it used to be either.

RE: Already dead
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 12:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well the difference is explainable in terms of the complexity of the design effort required. Moore's law seems to mainly relate to manufacturing technology, but our ability to tackle really large engineering problems like chip design is not going to be able to grow that fast. It's just not possible.

RE: Already dead
By LogicallyGenius on 9/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: Already dead
By rdeegvainl on 9/20/2007 2:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
what does having bigger processors have to do with fitting with doubling density?

RE: Already dead
By jajig on 9/20/2007 4:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
Could you please restate that none of it makes sense to me.

If you're being sarcastic, I don't get it.

RE: Already dead
By TomZ on 9/20/2007 2:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missed my point, which is that manufacturing capability seems to be outstripping our ability to design chips that complicated. As the OP pointed out, a large portion of the transitors are RAM cache already.

4D chips - that's funny! You may as well go ahead and patent that idea.

RE: Already dead
By masher2 on 9/19/2007 12:48:48 PM , Rating: 3
> "The 32nm test shuttle that Intel announced yesterday was 1.9 billion transistors per chip"

Ah, but that's 2 years away at least. The Itanium 2 held 600M transistors all the way back in 2004. Doubling every year would mean a 2009 chip should hold 3.4 billion transistors-- over twice as many as that test shuttle. Doubling every year (Moore's original law), the chip should hold 20 billion transistors.

The original conjecture was transistor count at equal manufacturing cost. That implies roughly equal die sizes, which is why raw counts are a poor metric. Comparing the time to move to new process nodes is a much better indicator. Right now, Intel calls it 2 years...but that interval has been slowly growing for decades, and will continue to do so.

RE: Already dead
By masher2 on 9/19/2007 12:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
Edit: doubling every TWO years would mean a 3.4B transistor chip. Doubling every year would yield the 20B version.

RE: Already dead
By KristopherKubicki on 9/19/2007 12:57:01 PM , Rating: 3
I agree completely. However I think you have to look at the density function over some actual density (mm^2 or what-have-you). I'm sure several of those 32nm shuttles fit on a single Itanium die.

RE: Already dead
By masher2 on 9/19/2007 1:04:43 PM , Rating: 3
> "However I think you have to look at the density function over some actual density (mm^2 or what-have-you). "

That's what the process node gives you. Average feature size yields a linear metric for transistor density.

Of course, the process node gives you minimum feature size, not mean size, but that's exactly what Moore's Law intends. Every new nodes halves the minimum feature size, giving us the potential to double transistor counts, whether or not its actually done.

RE: Already dead
By JarredWalton on 9/19/2007 6:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't the original "Moore's Law" statement more an analysis of manufacturing ideals as opposed to even transistor counts? I believe it was from Moore pointing out that the "sweet spot" in terms of minimum cost involved related to transistor count (taking into account manufacturing and other influences) was doubling every ~12 months, but that the rate would likely slow down. So if we call it every 18-24 months over the long haul, and the first ICs in 1965 were around 60 transistors... well, we're doing okay, but all good guesses come to an end at some point. :)

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/20/2007 9:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
That's what the process node gives you. Average feature size yields a linear metric for transistor density.

NO.... each node 1/2 the area or double the density.... this is not rocket science.

A process node, 90 nm .. 65 nm what have you... reverse to a single dimension, it is defined in the industry as the distance that would measure 1/2 the pitch between the two closest parallel metal lines in the first metallization layer.

Again... the node choice through time are made by taking a scaling factor of 0.7 65nm is 0.7 of 90 nm, 45 nm is 0.7 of 65 nm.... that is in ONE dimension. Area is 2 dimension.

Area = width x height scale width by 0.7, and height by 0.7 so
NewArea = 0.7 x width x 0.7 x height = (0.7x0.7)width x height
NewArea = 0.49x(width x height) = 0.49 X Area

So each scaling to the next node 1/2 the area or doubles the density. This is Moores law...

This is too funny.

"The 32nm test shuttle that Intel announced yesterday was 1.9 billion transistors per chip"

Ah, but that's 2 years away at least.

Do you not see the irony here... first you say Moore's law is dead, then you basically state Moore's law in your rebuttal to Kris.

45 nm will launch Nov. 12th, 2 years later in 2009 32 nm will launch... Moore's Law as defined.

RE: Already dead
By Oregonian2 on 9/19/2007 1:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
The "law" as usually presented (without regard to the more historically correct conjecture not presented as a "law") isn't that trannie density doubles every two years, but the total number on the die does. So even if they use the same process, doubling the die's area would satisfy the law's continuance. Instead it's usually been a combination of the two. Its likewise a negative if dies are made smaller (which they want to do, counter to continuing the law). One of the limiting factors is 'what the heck to do with the trannies even if we can make it'. Multi-cores seems to be the answer short term.

RE: Already dead
By FITCamaro on 9/20/2007 6:54:33 AM , Rating: 2
Now we have chips that are a billion or so transistors, but 800 million of which are cache.

This is certainly true for Intel, but AMD doesn't have nearly as much cache as Intel.

RE: Already dead
By coldpower27 on 9/20/2007 9:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
AMD doesn't have chips that large though, they are at about 1/2 a Billion or so right now. Though their core logic to cache ratio will be going towards more cache with their Shanghai refresh on the 45nm. SO AMD's is slowly headed towards that.

RE: Already dead
By Eskimo on 9/20/2007 1:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
NAND "sort of" made huge progress switching from SLC to MLC -- but again that's not really production yet anyway.

Kristopher, not sure where you are getting this from. MLC has been shipping since ~2001 and currently about 80% of all NAND shipments worldwide are MLC.

DRAM and NAND are actually the drivers in the semiconductor industry for Moore's law. While micrprocessor transistor density doubling has slowed to 24 months, DRAM and NAND are averaging about 18 months and 12 months respectively for doubling.

RE: Already dead
By KristopherKubicki on 9/20/2007 11:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Hi Eskimo,

I admittedly did not phrase that well. SLC densities are larger right now, though MLC will bring the most capacity. However, you don't see MLC SSDs or the like right now because its still prohibitively expensive. In a sense, MLC is just coming online for those type of devices.


RE: Already dead
By rogard on 9/21/2007 1:21:23 AM , Rating: 2
Good point, that nowadays 80% of the transistors are caches, But as far as I can remember, Moore's law did not specify the purpose of the transistors. Apart from that, in the early 1970ies...did Moore even THINK of caches, or even on-die caches, let alone the huge L1/L2/L3(!) caches we are seeing now? I doubt it.
When I started my studies of informatics/computer science in 1990, desktop CPUs used to have something like 256 BYTES of L1 instruction cache....those were the times :-)

RE: Already dead
By Misty Dingos on 9/19/2007 12:13:06 PM , Rating: 5
It is like the Pirates Code. It is really more like a guideling than a hard and fast law.

This post is in honor of World Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Arrrrr! Where's me parrot and me cutlass!

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/20/2007 12:43:00 AM , Rating: 3
You are misunderstanding Moore's law and how it came to be...

Have you ever wondered why the technology lithography nodes went from 250 nm to 180 nm to 130 nm.... 90 nm to 65 nm to 45 nm?

Quite simple really, the industry as it worked to shrink in a concerted methodology had to choose a scaling factor (this is often called alpha or represented by the greek character alpha in the academic/industrial literature). In classical scaling, everything scales by the same factor, all geometries and such. The industry settled in on 0.7 as the scaling factor, so if you take 250 x 0.7 you get about 180 nm, or if you take 90 nm x 0.7 you get about 65 nm, 45 nm is roughly 0.7 of 65 nm and so on....

What is magical about 0.7? Well, if you have a rectangle and scale the heighth by 0.7 and the width by 0.7, then the area will scale by 0.49 or 1/2 (Area = width x heighth, so scaling becomes NewArea = 0.7xwidth x 0.7 X heighth = 0.49X(widthXheight).

Moore did nothing other than put a time scale to this concept... postulating that it would take roughly 2 years to develop, debug, and put into production a new shrink. Simply stated the area of the die will 1/2 every 2 years (for the same number of transistors) or the number of transistors will double (for the same area). A fancier way of saying it is that the transistor density will double every two years.

So each new node over the prior, be it 65 nm over 90 nm, or 45 nm over 65 nm... or when 32 nm comes along, is essentially Moore's law ... the only time that will fail is if it takes longer than 2 years to get to the next halving of the transistor density. So far that appears entact -- as Intel will introduce 45 nm roughly 2 years after 65 nm... which was roughly 2 years after 90 nm....

Moore's law has turned out to be true and it is still true today.

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/20/2007 12:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
Ooops correction; I errantly said 'halving of the transistor density' I mean doubling of the transistor density (or halving the die area for fixed transistor count).

RE: Already dead
By masher2 on 9/20/2007 8:59:17 AM , Rating: 2
> "Moore did nothing other than put a time scale to this concept..."

Of course, thats exactly what I said. Moore simply mated a statement of geometry to the the assumption that new process nodes would appear in linear time.

> "...postulating that it would take roughly 2 years to develop, debug, and put into production a new shrink"

But here's where the problem comes in. Moore didn't postulate "roughly" two years. He postulated ONE year. Intel, realizing the marketing value of "Moore's Law" has since restated it to 18 months, then 2 years. Soon it'll be 3 years.

Why? Because we don't move to new process nodes in linear time. Subsequent nodes become progressively harder. In 1970, we could move to new nodes each year. At 22nm at beyond, it will most likely be 3+ years.

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/20/2007 10:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, thats exactly what I said. Moore simply mated a statement of geometry to the the assumption that new process nodes would appear in linear time.

No that is not what you said... what you said was:

In my opinion, Moore's Law already died quite some time ago.

This in simply not true.... each time we see a new node appear 2 years after the prior, Moore's law is being followed.

But here's where the problem comes in. Moore didn't postulate "roughly" two years. He postulated ONE year. Intel, realizing the marketing value of "Moore's Law" has since restated it to 18 months, then 2 years. Soon it'll be 3 years.

This is again untrue. Gordon Moore's first paper in 1965 was an invited paper, basically asking him to predict the state of the microelectronics industry over the next 10 years (in 1965), as you state he predicted a doubling ever year.

However, he came back, again per request, and revisted his predictions and restated what we know today as Moore's Law.

First he plotted DENSITY as a fuction of time:
Density can be expected to be proportional to the reciprocal of area, so the contribution to improve density vs. time from the use of smaller dimensions is plotted in Figure 3.

and concluded:
The new slope might approximate a doubling every two years, rather than every year, by the end of the decade.

So, it is pretty clear, transistor density (the correct form of Moore's law) will double ever two years. That is what is stated. I have posted above to show you that each node halves the area thereby doubling the density over the prior node... therefore, if a one node follows the prior by 2 years, Moore's Law holds.

Gordon Moore did not make up his law... he simply stated an observation on the trend in the data, which holds true today. He attached a time scale to what was, at the time, a standardize method of shrinking -- i.e. scale with a factor that will double the denisty.

In 1995, Gordon Moore wrote another analysis to see how well his prediction held up:

Pretty good so far.... what about today..

Well, 2001 Intel ships 130 nm... 2003 Intel ships 90 nm... 2005 Intel ships 65 nm and in 2007 they will ship 45 nm, and according to you (and Intel) they will ship 32 nm in 2009.... so it looks like Moore's Law is safe, at least until 2009. (see page 13, looks like every two years to me).

Now... if you want to see a linear plot, one of the best ways is to look at the reported 6T SRAM cell size over time, as SRAM is the highest density, most tightly packed array of 6 transistors -- in fact, this is on of a handful of parameters companies announce to tout their accomplishement.

See page 29 (same link as just above). So as you say, it should be exponential -- thus a logarithmic y-axis plotted against a linear axis of time (x-axis) should yield a straight line... well, it looks pretty straight to me.. all the way to 45 nm.

Does this make you wrong... not necessarily, it makes you wrong in your interpretation of Moore's Law... but to see if Moore's law really dies ... we will need to see what happens 2 years from about now -- as 45 nm launching on Nov 12th not only demonstrates Moore's Law it validates as it is about 2 years from Intel's 65 nm Process (actually a little less, but whose counting).

Where you are right is that there are other features that scale within the transistor that have reach physical limits... example, the gate dielectric material. In the transition from 90 nm to 65 nm, for the first time in history, the gate oxide thickness did not scale. Both Intel and AMD had a 1.2 nm gate oxide thickness at 90 nm and 1.2 nm gate oxide thickness at 65 nm.... why? The phenomena is called quantum mechanical tunneling. A more concise model base on QMT is called Fowler-Nordhiem Tunneling (google it, very educational).

However, scaling limits within the transistor aside... this does not invalidate Moore's Law... Moore's Law is a econmical cost structure model and only concerns itself with transistor density and cost of manufacturing. In fact, his original plot leading to this law in 1965, that famous hand sketched diagram, was a cost model not an engineering model.

Fascinating, and if you are further interesting in learning more about scaling theory in semiconductors, IBM has published a few very interesting articles as such:


RE: Already dead
By flipsu5 on 9/20/2007 10:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
JJ, I think you take the node numbers too seriously. The design rules on CPUs are nowhere near those numbers. The pitch (gate-to-gate) needs to be really loose if you strain silicon to get fast chips (usually ~200 nm). On the other hand, memory doesn't care so much about speed but more so about density. That is where the transistor density scaling really follows the node numbers. The leader there is Samsung with 38 nm NAND flash. Toshiba is proposing to beat that with 3D array of transistors.

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/20/2007 11:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well, not really ... The node, as defined fixes the pitch between the first two metal lines of the first metallization layer. ITRS defines the process node in their roadmap: page 6 has a nice diagram and the definition above..

People often think that the litho node refers to the smallest feature size on the transistor, this is not true. The smallest feature size that must be patterend is the Lg, (*distance between source and drain, making up the channel*) and depending on design, will be roughly 1/2 to 1/3 of the distance 1/2 Pitch at M1 -- at least that is the trend I have noted.

So at 65 nm, roughly 30 nm or so... in fact, both AMD and Intel have published 35 nm gate lengths at the 65 nm node, so that range is close. The TCAD, which designs the transistor has to make the gate to gate pitch commensurate with the M1 to M1 metal line pitch, otherwise, you would not be able to wire up the transistor. Going from your description, say left edge of the gate to the same gate edge on the adjacent transistor defines the total area taken by the transistor (source, channel, drain) plus the isolation between... the total pitch relative to M1 (as two adjacent M1 lines span a souce and a gate, sould then be 2xnodex2 roughly, so at 65 nm, for example, 2 x 65 x 2 give 260 nm of space to build the transistor and isolate it, at 45 nm this goes down to 180 nm.

The key to CADing out the transistor is maximize the overall drive current at the lowest leakage. Now, you mention stress ... good. Because in the absense of classical scaling, Intel and AMD turned to stress engineering to increase mobility as opposed to using geometry to drive up drive currents. This works good at 90 nm, not as well at 65 nm and will yield diminishing returns the smaller you go.... it is not stress that is actually phenomena, it is strain which is induced by stress. Stress is a pressure, strain though is a force... pressure is force/unit area... so if I stress over say area A1 and in my next revision stress over area A2 such that A2 < A1, then the induces strain is significantly less in the shrink.

Interestingly, AMD employed 2 major stressors in their 90 nm process (dual stress liners), but going to 65 nm the effectiveness of this stressing technique diminished enough that they obviously tried to put in two more (embedded SiGe and stress memorization), and even then they are struggling to recover and hit 90 nm speed bins... so it is tough, but it can be done even at 65 nm dimensions.


RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/21/2007 12:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
Let me add to your comment though, you bring up a good point. Not all transistors within a CMOS device are equal, some are made and patterned larger than others.... the definition does account by stating the to closest lines.

The point, I think you are making, is that we rarely see a perfect 50% compaction. This is true, so in the strictest sense there is some 'noise' about the line that makes up Moore's Law. I have seen Intel's compactions range from as high as 47% to as low as 43% from published data. AMD does not make that data readily available, however, the Brisbane product gives us an idea about 65 nm.... AMD only achieved about 31% compaction (not very good) for the same architecture and transistor count (two big stipulations you must make to draw anykind of corollary), which means something is wrong... their 65 nm is really more like 75 nm :) ....

RE: Already dead
By flipsu5 on 9/25/2007 8:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
It's true that metal one half-pitch is the main guide for ITRS but this is different for memory vs. other types of chips, e.g., ASICs or CPUs. 65 nm node Intel Metal 1 is 210 nm pitch (which would mean 105 nm design rule).It was 220 nm pitch for 90 nm node (or 110 nm design rule). The trick to shrinking the non-memory chips is to make them more memory-like.

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 10/12/2007 10:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
This is incorrect... could you provide a linke to where you get this information, I think you are quoting gate to gate pitch, not metal to metal pitch.

RE: Already dead
By lompocus on 9/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: Already dead
By coldpower27 on 9/20/2007 9:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
Moore's Law is twice the density in a given area in about 2 years given current definitions. 7800 GTX to 8800 Ultra would show that process technology can't keep up as that is only 110nm to 90nm which improves density by 1.5, the G80 get it's performance by sacrificing die size which is about 1.5 bigger as well.

RE: Already dead
By vignyan on 9/20/2007 3:17:20 AM , Rating: 2
Moore's "Law"
1. The number of transistors on a die double every 18 months
2. The number of transistors that can fit in 1mmX1mm die double every 18 months
3. The performance of processors double every 18 months.

There are multiple "laws" that are floating around and thats not that Moore was a astrologer to predict what will happen at what time. Its just a prediction of possibility.

Now you have two options.
1. Crib that it failed.
2. Try to achieve that and drive the techonology to new front.

Apparently, most of the chip companies (AMD inclusive)chose to take the 2nd path (and ofcourse AMD ridiculed that with their own "law" about projects scratched out at intel).

So you see, does not matter if it went correct or wrong. Atleast try to achieve that goal. :)

And one more thing... Gordon Moore did not quote " Intel will double to transistor count every 12/18/24(pick your choice) months". He just quoted "Transistor count every 12/18/24(pick your choice) months".

peace man! :)

RE: Already dead
By Shadowcaster on 9/20/2007 8:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
3. The performance of processors double every 18 months.

Anyone knowledgable in processor history: does this hold true?
Meaning does the computational speed (measured in flops?) double each 18-24 months? I know that int and fp speeds can vary quite drastically, but I mean in general.

Also: thank you TG users for filling your posts with knowledge that exceeds what Wikipedia spits at you.

RE: Already dead
By DOSGuy on 9/20/2007 6:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
When Moore first stated his "law" in 1965, he gave the interval of 12 months. In the early 1980s, Intel was quoting it as 18 months. Today, its been revised to "about two years" between nodes. In a decade, Intel will be telling us Moore's Law means "transistor counts double every 3-4 years".

I'm sorry, but I just can't let this statement slide. A little research is in order here.

When people say that Moore stated Moore's Law in 1965, they're referring to an article in Electronics Magazine's April 19, 1965 edition. He wrote:

"The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year ... Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000. I believe that such a large circuit can be built on a single wafer."

The complexity for minimum component costs is quite a bit different from how we think of Moore's Law today, which Wikipedia describes as, "the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years." It feels good to pretend that Moore might have stated something like that as far back as 1965, but he didn't.

The term "Moore's Law" was coined around 1970 by the Caltech professor, VLSI pioneer, and entrepreneur Carver Mead. So, when did Moore actually make a prediction about transistor densities? According to Wikipedia, "In 1975, Moore projected a doubling only every two years. He is adamant that he himself never said "every 18 months", but that is how it has been quoted."

In fact, Moore's Law, the version that we follow today (two year version), has held since at least the Intel 4004, the world's first commercial single-chip microprocessor, was released in 1971.

What exactly Moore's Law is and when it began is debatable. What is certain is that the 24 month version of it has been true since at least 1971, and Moore himself defined it that way by at least 1975. To suggest that the stated timeframe has changed from 12 months to 18 months to 24 months is not supported by any evidence that I'm aware of, and if Moore's Law ever did predict doubling at a rate faster than once every 24 months, it was only for the first 6 years after Moore's 1965 article. To suggest that Intel would change the definition that they have adhered to for 36 years at some point in the future is preposterous. It's simply too well known, and too important to the industry. They might admit that they can no longer maintain Moore's Law, but they would never dream of changing it.

For more information about Moore's Law, consult your local library, or read an excellent article on Wikipedia at

RE: Already dead
By TomZ on 9/20/2007 7:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
I Moore's Law is just a conversation piece that really has no significant meaning at all. It neither drives nor impedes progress. It doesn't determine product development or release schedules. I think it is much ado about nothing.

RE: Already dead
By JumpingJack on 9/21/2007 2:15:51 AM , Rating: 2
To an extent ... however, if you read Moore's papers, it is really just a statement of an observation, cleverly graphed. The technicality of the shrink is an engineering problem but the rate of the shrink is driven by economics.

The motivation for shrinking is driven by reduction of costs, hence Moore's famous plot is pitched in terms of costs vs number of transistors separated into temporal curves. He simply plotted the minima in costs for a set transistor count and extrapolated the rate at which transistors increased per unit area over time.

The trend has held true since 1975 or so.... so it is not meaningless, and reflects the drive and competitive nature of this industry.

In 1965 he postulated this rate, in 1975 he revised his rate curve, and in 2007 he predicted the end... I would listen as he seems to know what he is saying :) ...

The scary part of this is when the progress does reach it's end using conventional semiconductor methods, a drastic paradigm shift will need to take place ... it will be interesting to see what that will turn out to be... new materials, completely new computational method for binary work (quantum computing, spintronics, ...) who knows.

The head!
By Misty Dingos on 9/19/2007 12:09:42 PM , Rating: 4
I didn't realize that engineers lost their hair so early.

RE: The head!
By darkpaw on 9/19/2007 12:17:06 PM , Rating: 5
Common job hazard for engineers, but preferable over the side effects of manual labor. Lawyers and politicians probably have it the worse though, they tend to lose their soul early.

RE: The head!
By geddarkstorm on 9/19/2007 12:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, at least he hasn't lost that much more in the past 32 years lol

RE: The head!
By KristopherKubicki on 9/19/2007 12:24:18 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, don't forget he's SEVENTY-EIGHT.

RE: The head!
By acer905 on 9/19/2007 12:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
The hair loss comes from constantly having to deal with management and sales... IF it were just the engineers life (or at least mine lol) would be much nicer

RE: The head!
By rcc on 9/19/2007 2:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
The hair loss comes from constantly having to deal with management and sales...

Lol, having worked in all three capacities, I can tell you that each of the 3 says the same thing. And it's all true, more or less.

RE: The head!
By SigmaHyperion on 9/19/2007 12:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
1975 might seem like a long time ago to some people, but Gordon Moore was already almost 50 years old even "way back" in 1975. That's not that bad a head of hair for being 46.

RE: The head!
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 12:51:35 PM , Rating: 1
In my family, we say that the amount of hair loss is proportional to intelligence. Which is another way of saying that many of us are getting smarter every year.

RE: The head!
By rcc on 9/19/2007 2:13:17 PM , Rating: 2
No grass grows on a busy street.

You are not loosing hair, you are gaining face. (very important in the orient)

And, more kissing space.

The less popular law from Gordon Moore…
By vortmax on 9/19/2007 2:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
Moore’s Law #2:

Each Microsoft Windows revision will exponentially increase its install size.

RE: The less popular law from Gordon Moore…
By Etsp on 9/19/2007 2:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget it's memory requirements! they balloon at about the same rate. Lets also not forget the "features" that people DON'T like that are introduced each revision

RE: The less popular law from Gordon Moore…
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 3:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Oh geez, do we have to have a "M$" hate thread on every article at DT?

By mars777 on 9/19/2007 3:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
C'mon, I don't see any hate in their words.
They just like to take joke of Microsoft :)
I do too, and i don't hate them :)

By thebrown13 on 9/19/2007 3:03:48 PM , Rating: 2

What about Microsoft?
By vortmax on 9/19/2007 2:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't Moore's Law apply to the install size of Windows too? lol

RE: What about Microsoft?
By vortmax on 9/19/2007 2:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
The post below says it better...

RE: What about Microsoft?
By rdeegvainl on 9/20/2007 2:35:31 AM , Rating: 2
Above now, at least the theory of relativity is still working right?

(i do know what the real theory of relativity is)

And man created computers in his own image
By wordsworm on 9/19/2007 12:55:12 PM , Rating: 2
We killed God about 1978 years ago. When will the machine evolve enough to kill us? We're terminated. Yay!

By KristopherKubicki on 9/19/2007 12:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think I saw a movie about that once. The name escapes me right now...

Science is dead
By billybob24 on 9/20/2007 3:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Hows that cure for the common cold coming, guys? You've only been working on that for fourty years. And hey, maybe you could try cancer right after rush or anything...and those superbugs are coming back in a big way..and AIDS still a problem..and global warming..


BTW, the article tries to conclude we have something to replace Moore's law, but the newspaper has been telling me cancer is cured for many years now too. So I'm sceptical. I kinda doubt quantum computing will ever pan out. And biological computing, which I've never heard of before and certainly is not viable, either.

3D will carry on Moore's Law
By flipsu5 on 9/26/2007 11:51:02 AM , Rating: 2
Forget about lithography. When things shrink, operating currents shrink, which means it takes a longer time to accumulate enough charge to read "1" or "0". It is time to use 3D to put more large, fast transistors and fat wires into the same area. I'm talking stacking and through-silicon vias.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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