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Economics could kill Moore’s Law

Or Colonel Mustard with the pipe in the Library 

Pundits have made a number of predictions for the death of Moore’s Law but this one suggests that it is actually going to be the economy which bumps the idea off.

Moore’s Law, named for Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, states that the number of transistors contained on integrated circuits is doubled roughly every two years. However according to Robert Colwell of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office Moore’s Law could end as early as 2020, with economics, rather than physics, being the main reason for its demise.

He said that Moore’s Law will not have to end because of physics as a restriction on chip evolution. Instead, Colwell forecasts that economics would halt the rapid progression of technology, as more advanced chips become less likely to make profit.

“Chip companies don't make the bulk of their profits from the top-of-the-line chips, but instead from the huge numbers of run-of-the-mill follow-on chips that they peddle,” he said.

He thinks that Intel would lose interest in smaller and smaller chips if they failed to appeal to a consumer market.

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