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Moore's Law Recommendation

By Thursday Review staff | published Sunday, December 29, 2013 |

It’s safe to say that Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel, has been misquoted or paraphrased almost as much as Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Voltaire combined. Still, Moore’s bold 1965 prediction (from a now famous paper about microchip capacity) that computing capacity would increase—doubling roughly every 18 months to two years, and that as a result the costs of computing would decline at a similarly predictable rate—was an unshakable, almost sacred canon of the technology world for decades.

But, the faster things change, the “Moore” they stay the same (groans, boos).

Some computer industry analysts point to the recent trends which show the microchip capacity may be reaching the tipping point when it comes to conventional markets and sales, as it has now become quite expensive to pack more components and more functionality into ever-tinier chips without a huge increase in cost. This has brought about a pattern stretching back roughly three years of a “levelling” of computer and technology prices. Soon, only the most exotic or high-end of computers will require the ever-greater compression of silicon and capacity, especially as demand begins to drop off in relation to cost.  Besides, buyers of computers for the home or the office, and users of handheld devices such as smart phones and tablets, seem to have shown little interest in technology if it breaks their budget.

The hedge?  The business and consumer markets are fickle, and sometimes highly unpredictable in their demands and cravings. Who can say what new devices or factors are out there on the technology horizon waiting to unleash something smaller, and more powerful? Then Gordon Moore can again say “I told you so.”