Is Moore’s Law Dead? – Verdict

Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors per chip doubles every two years. Since 1965, when Gordon Moore made this observation, it has remained valid and the power of the computer has increased dramatically while the relative cost has decreased. But are we nearing the end of Moore’s Law?

Why is this important?

If you bought a computer in the past and ran a typical algorithm on it, a computer two years later with next-generation chips would run the algorithm twice as fast. This increase in performance has facilitated vast technological and economic growth over the past seven decades. Everything from weather forecasts to AI chess players benefited from increased computing power. Many expect the improvements to continue in the future, but this expectation has consequences. To begin with, if it is argued that the solution to any of the world’s many problems rests on improving technology, it is implicitly required that computing power will increase to enable these technological improvements.

If Moore’s Law is dead, computers will never see the same power improvements in the future. This means that many technological advances will rely solely on the use of multiple computers. This is neither efficient nor desirable for the global climate. Information technology already accounts for around 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 10% of the world’s electricity consumption. The increase in calculation costs is therefore a climate issue.

Moore’s law is dead

Moore’s law was guided by the decreasing size of transistors. Many now argue that we are approaching the minimum transistor size. This is due to the fundamental barrier represented by the size of the atoms. IBM’s current experimental transistors are only about an order of magnitude larger than the silicon atoms used to make them.

Regardless of this problem, the rising costs of cooling and manufacturing transistors are also killing Moore’s law. This can be seen in the cost of manufacturing a new chip: the development of a new 10nm chip costs about $ 170 million, while it is nearly $ 300 million for a 7nm chip and over $ 500 million for a chip. from 5 nm. And then there’s Moore’s second law (otherwise known as Rock’s law) which states that the cost of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years.

All of these factors play into the death of Moore’s law.

Moore’s Law is alive and well

Some argue that the trend of increasing computing power is still there. This is valid if you do not see the law in its strictest sense. Instead of increasing computing power driven by decreasing transistor sizes and increasing chips, it comes from advances in supercomputers, cloud computing, and new ways of writing software.

The reality: the way we work on computers is changing

In fact, the innovation will continue beyond shrinking the physical components of computers. The rise of GPUs is an example of how we use computers differently to achieve new goals, such as developing machine learning algorithms. Other techniques include artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators that perform artificial intelligence tasks more efficiently. For example, this could involve data processing for machine learning algorithms.

The future: a mix of passwords and authentic possibilities

It’s hard to say which of the techniques currently under development will redefine computing. spintronics; non-silicon based electronics such as graphene, carbon nanotubes and nanomagnets; and quantum computing are examples of current research areas. However, they are all many years away from influencing computing long enough to have an impact on Moore’s Law. Furthermore, the benefits of these possible advances vary enormously, and their applications are often more specialized than traditional computer uses.

In a way, Moore’s law is not important now. It is more useful to talk about increasing computer power based on a specific use case, as it is no longer the case that a code on a computer will run twice as fast two years later. In reality, a combination of supercomputers, cloud computing, and software advances will enable the growth techno-optimists desire, but these advances shouldn’t be seen as inevitable. And finally there’s Cole’s Law, which is thinly sliced ​​cabbage …

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