COMP: Moore's Law
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 05:00:42 -0700 (PDT)

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky [] wrote:
>I suspect
>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 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.