Apparently Moore’s Law is dead. Again – I’m sure I’ve seen headlines like this before. In the relatively early days of computing — 1965 — Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors on a chip was doubling every year or so. As a co-founder of Intel, he was in a good position to know. In lay terms, this meant that, year on year, computers were getting more powerful and the trajectory was expected to continue for some time. In fact it continued well past original expectations and passed its 50th anniversary last year.
According to an article I read a couple of weeks ago on Ars Technica, that seems to finally be coming to an end. There is a limit to just how small we can make these things and, as the article describes, it is becoming less relevant. The current wave of growth is not the density and speed of an individual chip but what can be done with the fact that these little bundles of silicon and circuitry are all around us. I’ve got several computers in the room where I’m writing this and, at my fingertips, I have access to a world full of them.
And then, a couple of days later, another source (Gizmag) proclaimed that a Super flat material could extend life of Moore’s Law. Possibly the reports of its death could turn out to be greatly exaggerated.