Eliezer S. Yudkowsky [email@example.com] wrote:
>that the next decade may see the breaking of Moore's Law classic due to
>the requirement for gargantuan investments in manufacturing facilities,
Actually, I'd say we're seeing that already; I know of several chips which were months late because the design tools and processes just can't handle the complexity. I suspect we'll be able to get around it for a while by changing design methodologies, but I think we're starting to hit the end of the curve. Intel, for example, has done a great job by simply taking the 8086 and pushing up performance while bolting on a few new bits here and there, but as far as I remember Merced was supposed to be out already, and even their new core logic chips seem to be well behind (e.g. see http://www.theregister.co.uk/990608-000022.html). Of course there's no particular technical reason for the new chips, so maybe they can drop them and push the 80x86 up to multi-gigahertz clock rates.
>but we'll still see an actual steepening of the performance/price curve
>as most new systems come with two, then four, then eight processors.
I agree, and I think we'll see a reversal of Intel's attempts to do everything on the CPU (e.g. soft modems) and more offloading of nonessential functions to dedicated chips.