End of Moore’s Law

I was reading an article in the National Post which talked about Research In Motion joining forces with Intel to solve “one of the tech industry’s greatest computing conundrums.”

I’m sure, right now, that you are asking yourself: “What exactly is one of the tech industry’s greatest computing conundrums?” And, for that matter, “What is a conundrum?”

A conundrum is a puzzling question. In one variety of conundrum, the question is posed as a riddle and the answer is or involves a pun. More broadly, a conundrum is any problem where the answer is very complex, possibly unsolvable without deep investigation. A mystery or paradox can often be phrased as a conundrum.

Conundrum is also the title of a Star Trek TNG episode, episode number 214, from the fifth season.

However, getting back to what I am sure is the most serious issue facing mankind: the tech industry’s greatest computing conundrum.

It is the end of Moore’s Law. Intel is warning that Moore’s Law might be obsolete as soon as 2018. As far as truthiness goes, Intel’s CEO said that there was no end in sight for Moore’s Law. But that was last March and things just get worse instead of better particularly when we are talking about computing conundrums.

Since I will be retired by 2018, I am frankly moore than a little concerned. I will have a lot moore time to play video games and I really want to have moore computing power. The current xbox 360 is a joke at 1 teraflop. We need millions, no trillions, moore petaflops to play the kind of computer games I want to play in the future.

Moore’s Law was established by Gordon Moore, cofounder of Intel, circa 1965. At that time, he made the observation that chip density doubled every 18 – 24 months. So now we have processors with lots and lots of transistors. I have a graphics card in one of my PCs that holds over 220 million transistors on its processor.

220 million? That is a lot of transistors.

Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion’s co-chief executive, gave $150 million to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He hopes that this group will help find an alternative to Moore’s Law using quantum mechanics.

I guess the folks at RIM really want some pretty sophisicated Blackberrys.

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