End of Moore’s Law– It Propelled Silicon Valley as ‘Mecca’ of Technology for 50 Years: Is It Really Dead? What Replaces It?

Moore‘s Law is dead; sky is falling, sky is falling… mass hysteria– it’s the end of Silicon Valley as ‘Mecca‘ of technology… According to Ian Paul; doomsday predictions about the end of Moore’s Law are nearly as old as the famous observation posited by Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel in 1965…

And with the end of Moore’s Law that could turn Silicon Valley into a ‘rust belt’, if a replacement technology for silicon isn’t found… Moore’s Law has continued unabated for 50 years with an overall growth factor of roughly 2 billion. That means memory chips today store around 2 billion times as much data as in 1965…

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Or in more general terms, computer hardware today is around 2 billion times as powerful for same cost… To fully comprehend Moore’s Law imagine airline technology advancing from 1965 to 2015 to travel nearly at the speed of light (1,080 million kph or 670 million mph), yet capacious enough to contain the entire world’s population. Or imagine, the cost of a jet airliner dropping from US$100 million to one dollar… Yet even these analogies  are far short of factor of 2 billion. Moore was originally embarrassed by his eponymous ‘law’ because it’s not a law at all, but merely an observation…

Much of modern consumer behavior is based on Moore’s Law, i.e., for the past 50 years its been a solid assumption that every 18 months (or so) the electronics that consumers buy, e.g.; computers, tablets, smartphones, most electronic devices… will become obsolete within one or two years… However, according to Dr. Colwell; most consumers don’t care much about Moore’s Law, per se; most people who buy electronic devices don’t even know what a transistor does. They simply want products that they buy to keep getting– faster, better, less power, more functions, smaller…

It’s the constant drive for innovation that allows for planned obsolescence, and to certain extent the dramatic rise of technology as a critical part of the world economy. Moore’s Law has driven technology– from occupying entire rooms, to desks, to laps, to pockets… And now technology is striving to occupy everything else– from clothes, to smart homes, to self-driving cars… But many experts are saying that the days of Moore’s Law are over, i.e.; product cycles are becoming much longer, innovative research and development is becoming more difficult… hence, it’s the end of an era of predictable performance, i.e., Moore’s Law… and consequences are unimaginable– disruptive change, disorder, and plenty of creative destruction…

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In the article Moore’s Law is Dead by Peter Bright writes: Problems with the original formulation of Moore’s law became apparent as early as 1975, when Gordon Moore himself updated the law to have a doubling time of 24 months rather than the initial 12 months… Still for three decades, simple geometric scaling– just making everything on a chip smaller– enabled steady shrinks and conformance with Moore’s predictionIn the 2000s, it was clear that this geometric scaling was at an end, but various technical measures were devised to keep pace with the Moore‘s Law curves.

But even these new techniques were up against a wall, e.g.; the photolithography process used to transfer the chip patterns to the silicon wafer were under considerable pressure… hence, the easy performance improvements stopped coming in the 2000s… Constrained by– heat, the clock speeds have largely stood still, and performance of each individual processor core has increased only incrementally…

Hence, technology has become highly integrated with chips that contain not only processors, logic, cache, but also include; RAM, power regulation, GPS, smartphones, Wi-Fi… meaning a diverse array of sensors and low power processors are now of great importance to technology companies, which in turn has ignited the development and growth of– smartphones, Internet of Things… even micro-electromechanical components, e.g.; gyroscopes, accelerometers…

As for the future, massive scaling isn’t off the cards completely, e.g.; the use of alternative materials, different quantum effects, or even more exotic techniques, such as; superconducting may provide a way to bring back the easy scaling that was enjoyed for decades, or even the more complex scaling of the last fifteen years… A big enough boost could even reinvigorate the demand for processors that are just plain– faster, rather than smaller, lower power… But for now, Moore’s Law’s  as a guide of what will come next and as a rule to be followed, is at an end…

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In the article End of Moore‘s Law? by Charles C. Mann writes: Despite the fuzziness about exactly what Moore’s Law states, its gist is indisputable; computer prices have fallen even as computer capabilities have risen… at first glance, consumer have come to believe that this is how the systems works… and although digital gurus often herald the advent of– better, faster, cheaper… and represent it as  unprecedented boon, it’s really economic commonplace.

According to Erik Brynjolfson; it’s ‘manna from heaven’; it’s a combination of geometry, physics, engineering… technical innovation is normal but the rate at which it has occurred is highly unusual…

Computers are so ubiquitous and powerful that it became commonplace to hear the claim that the world is in the middle of a ‘digital revolution’… Moore’s Law, the pundits claim, has created a ‘new’ economy and that technology is the future of the planet… However, economists warn that everyone should be worried by the recent reports that Moore’s Law might come to a crashing halt…

The end of Moore’s Law has been predicted so many times that rumors of its demise have become an industry joke. The current alarms, though, may be different. Squeezing more and more devices onto a chip means fabricating features that are smaller than small… and there are practical limits for– small and fast, beyond which innovation becomes much more difficult…

In the article End of Moore’s Law by Madhumita Murgia writes: According to report by McKinsey; up to 40% of the global productivity growth during the last two decades is attributed to the expansion of technologies made possible by chip performance, price… but, we are nearing the end. This principle by which the technology has mapped its progress over the last half-century is becoming– outdated, unviable… Hence, technology is at a key inflection point– technology must become more inventive, while doing it without a guaranteed path of innovation, as dictated by Moore’s Law…

Technology is the mother of all invention and the engine that drives many– economies, businesses… According to dcblogs; technology has been coasting along on– steady and predictable performance gains for 50 years, as laid out by Moore‘s law… but predictability is also the ingredients of complacency, inertia…

At this stage, Moore’s Law may be more analogous to ‘golden handcuffs’ than innovation and with its end in sight– technology is being challenged for new innovations– processes, materials, architectures… But Moore’s law has affected performance of many industries, e.g; a term coined by ‘The Economist’ to describe the bio-technological equivalent of Moore’s law is ‘Carlson’s Law’, which predict that the doubling time of DNA sequencing technologies (measured by cost and performance) would be at least as fast as Moore’s law…

Another in pharmaceutical drug development is the ‘Eroom’s Law’ (Moore’s Law spelled backwards) which states that the cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years…

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According to Graham Templeton; to hear many technologists tell it, Moores Law is already an outdated mode of thought… Although the prediction has been made many times, and has always proved untrue– just when it seems we’ve reached the pinnacle of putting-silicon-on-a-chip technology, some new innovation revolutionizes the industry and puts Moore’s Law back on track...

According to Brad McCredie; reality is the literal definition of Moore’s Law– that every 18 months you can get the same number of transistors for half the price is reaching its limit; however, the concept of consistent cost/performance gains is very much alive– through adaptation…

Even though silicon-scaling ‘alone’ can no longer deliver cost-effective innovation and meet performance demands of the modern digital era– this is not the end of the story… technology must continue to innovate and deliver on the promise of Moore’s Law…