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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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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.

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