Oh For Heaven’s Sake….. They’re Everywhere Now!!!


Do they teach this depressing “can’t do” mentality now?  Many readers here would know I often quote “Moore’s Law“.  It isn’t so much of a law as it is a prediction based upon the human experience. 

Moore’s Law is a generality which states, “Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on a chip will double about every two years.”  This has held true for over 45 years.   Which is fascinating all by itself, given that the man stated this in 1965!  In 1965!  Given the state of computing back then, how on earth could Gordon Moore possibly know this?  No one could have possibly predicted this about the computing world back then.  But he did…. sort of.  He was shy on specifics, but long on the intimate knowledge of the human capacity for growth in ability, knowledge, and skill.

So, along comes Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku.  “In about 10 years or so, we will see the collapse of Moore’s Law” said Kaku

Kaku acknowledged the latest CPUs from Intel, which use a unique three-dimensional design, do continue roughly doubling processors. He says that new design is nonetheless proof that the Law is winding down.

“The two basic problems are heat and leakage,” Kaku said. “That’s the reason why the age of silicon will eventually come to a close. “

The heat part is funny, mostly because it denies history.  Heat has been a problem since chips were made.  And they’ve always been able to overcome. The difficulty isn’t so much heat as it is space.  While the world continues to insist on faster and better, it’s always smaller that they want and not bigger.  Fans and heat sinks are infinitely better than what they were just a few years ago, but eventually, things will have to increase in size again.  Which, causes me to laugh at his other problem.  To continue doubling, all we need to do is increase the size of the chip.  And, then there’s the silicon…… no way we could ever find a better substance to use…. probably isn’t possible. 

Will Moore’s Law go on forever?  No, it won’t, not specifically, but he wasn’t speaking in specifics.  And, it won’t end because of our limitations, but because of the unlimited potential of humanity.  I can see a day when CPUs are rendered obsolete, and the processing is more specialized.  They used to have math co-processors.  Why not smaller processors along the path in a mesh type of tech?  Flash memory holds promise for more development.  There are things unseen and unknown which in ten years will be all the rage increasing mankind’s potential.

It’s a depressing but fascinating observation of mine, that people of the generation before us understood man’s trajectory of growth of abilities, but today we’re mired in stubborn thoughts of overpopulation which we won’t be able to feed, and a climate which we can’t possibly overcome, and resources which will soon end.  These people are obsessed with the possibility that mankind would do something he’s never done in his entire history…… fail to meet a challenge.  Not only that, they believe we don’t grow from meeting these challenges. 

Will transistors on a chip continue to double about every two years?  Probably not.  I seriously doubt it will end in ten years, but will computing power continue to double every 2 years or so?  Yes, as long as we wish it.

Read more about this Malthusian Doomsayer here.

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2 Responses to Oh For Heaven’s Sake….. They’re Everywhere Now!!!

  1. Bruce says:

    Unfortunately there’s also the frequency barrier. PC CPU’s tend not to operate much quicker than 4 GHz, no matter how powerful otherwise, or how much liquid nitrogen you use… : ) That limits the processing speed, forcing software to be written to split up execution (which certainly works for voxel rendition, heh).

    Still, not so bad as EV’s which suck because Avogadro’s constant is, unfortunately, constant.

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