The Death of Moore's Law: T-Minus 15 Years and Counting
Michael Hoffman & Kristopher Kubicki
September 19, 2007 11:46 AM
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A young Gordon Moore circa 1975
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
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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RE: The head!
9/19/2007 12:34:21 PM
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.
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