Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Return of Moores Law

Not too long Michio Kaku was predicting the End of Moore's Law and now we see Intel announcing that "it had again found a way to make computer chips that could process information more quickly and with less power in less space." Intel expects "to be able to make chips that run as much as 37 percent faster in low-voltage applications and it would be able to cut power consumption as much as 50."

Does this mean that Michio Kaku was wrong? No. But as mentioned in the earlier post there are numerous workarounds. At worst, assuming that Kaku is right that, for the moment, we've come to the end of increasing computer power by brute force, we will then need to become more efficient with the power we have.

I would bet that Michio Kaku is wrong and expect that computing power will continue to increase. Intel is increasing the efficiency of their design, not simply by making things smaller - as has been done for the last 30 years - but by being more efficient with what they have.

Early transistors were built on a flat surface. But like a real estate developer building skyscrapers to get more rentable space from a plot of land, Intel is now building up. When the space between the billions of tiny electronic switches on the flat surface of a computer chip is measured in the width of just dozens of atoms, designers needed the third dimension to find more room.
Intel Increases Transistor Speed by Building Upward

For a more complete explanations see: Intel Announces first 22nm 3D Tri-Gate Transistors, Shipping in 2H 2011 and
Intel Announces New 22nm 3D Tri-gate Transistors

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