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Subject: Re: Introducing "No-Moore's Law"

Author: Jeremiah Penery

Date: 13:51:44 02/27/03

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On February 27, 2003 at 13:31:54, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>On February 26, 2003 at 12:03:42, Steve J wrote:
>
>>>5.  I am also looking for some predictions/information about processor speed in
>>>20-30 years from now.  For micro's Moore's law still holds.  So 21 years is 7
>>>doublings of speed or 128 times as fast as today.
>>
>>
>>   I've spent 25 years in manufacturing side of the semiconductor industry and
>>would like to introduce what I call "No-Moore's Law".  It describes the physical
>>limitations that silicon (or any other compound) will run out of gas and can be
>>shrunk no more.  It also talks about some of the financial limitations of
>>shrinking die.
>>
>
>What you have written can't be true.  Because if you read this forum long
>enough,
>you realize that many are convinced that designing chips is a trial-and-error
>process
>where the engineers don't know anything at all about how fast a chip will run
>until it
>is produced and tested.  No ideas about the expected wafer defect rate.  Etc.

Nobody ever said or implied anything of the kind.  You just seem to think that
CPUs are produced as near that theoretical clock limit as possible, which is
simply not true.

>It was a
>nice explanation of a known issue, but it can't be right because it implies that
>the
>engineers really know what they are doing, rather than relying on blind luck to
>get something to work.
>
>Of course, all the engineers I personally know are repeating your story and they
>are
>sticking to it.  But they must all be mistaken.  After all engineering isn't a
>true science,
>it is based mostly on serendipity.

Not that any of what you say here has anything to do with Moore's Law in the
first place...

Engineers can't predict the future.  They may be great at telling us the
limitations of current technology, but they can't guess about the emergence of
new technologies.  Many engineers thought the sound barrier was impossible to
break, but that didn't make it true.  They've been saying for years that Moore's
Law will fail.  Here we are today, with no indication of slowdown in the next
few years.  There are many possible ways its usefulness can be extended past
what many currently believe is possible.  Examples are finding a new
manufacturing process that allows much smaller features to be created, finding a
better material than silicon, etc.  It's possible that a completely new
computing paradigm may become usable, rendering Moore's Law completely obsolete.
 Examples of this may be DNA and/or Quantum computing.



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