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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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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.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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