RE: near-term processing power growth

From: Ramez Naam (
Date: Fri Feb 11 2000 - 18:02:16 MST

From: Robert J. Bradbury []
> I will simply comment that Moore's law is often misquoted. In its
> *original* form (from Moore's original statements in the '60's),
> I believe that it *only* discussed circuit *density*. That would
> imply nothing about clock speed (advances or lack thereof due to
> increases in power consumption), cache or memory bandwidth
> limitations,
> architecture advantages (reduced-instruction-set (RISC),
> multi-arithmetic-logic-units/chip, Very-Long-Instruction-Words, etc.).

This is very true. In recent years, it's been bastardized to mean 60%
*performance* increases each year, which wasn't Moore's original intent, but
nevertheless has held true for some time.

> The SIA projections are moderately conservative projections (after
> all they are an industry consensus).

Just to keep us all honest, these projections are massively conservative.
Let's use your observation and just talk about circuit density. The 97
roadmap projects a doubling of circuit density between 2003 and 2007.
That's a growth rate of only 20% per year - far below Moore's rule of thumb.

With estimates that conservative, naturally it's easy to beat them.

All that having been said, and in response to your other comments, I do
believe that the rate will eventually accelerate. There is even weak
evidence for a current acceleration. I would prefer, however, to see much
stronger evidence before kicking off the singularity celebrations.


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