End of Moore's Law?

In a 1965 paper, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore described the observed trend that the density of transistors on a computer chip had been doubling every two years. Since then, this notion that every two years, technological advances will double the density of transistors on a chip, became known as Moore's Law. It was always acknowledged that quantum mechanics would eventually provide a limit to these technological advances, but as it turns out, the cost of manufacturing may bring a halt to Moore's law before technical limitations. Michael Feldman, over at HPCWire, predicts that we may see the effective end to Moore's law in the next five years.

Moore observed that the cost per transistor decreased in concert with the shrinking geometries.

... it has been apparent for some time that the Moore's Law curve is running counter to the escalating costs of semiconductor manufacturing, which are rising exponentially as process technology shrinks. This is the result of the increased cost of R&D, testing, and the construction of semiconductor fabrication facilities.

And it is really this aspect of the model that is breaking. Eventually you will be unable to sell enough chips to recoup even the capital expenditures.

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