Moore's Law Hits A Wall In The Future

Aron Schatz
October 14, 2009

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There are properties of nature that even Moore's Law cannot break through. The so-called "Law" was made up by Gordon Moore working at Intel. He said that integrated circuits would pack twice the number of transitions every two years or so (people assume he said performance would double, not the case).

There are physical constraints to the doubling that happens. Soon, we won't be able to make faster computers! OH NO!


If components are to continue shrinking, physicists must eventually code bits of information onto ever smaller particles. Smaller means faster in the microelectronic world, but physicists Lev Levitin and Tommaso Toffoli at Boston University in Massachusetts, have slapped a speed limit on computing, no matter how small the components get. "If we believe in Moore's laW ... then it would take about 75 to 80 years to achieve this quantum limit," Levitin said. "No system can overcome that limit. It doesn't depend on the physical nature of the system or how it's implemented, what algorithm you use for computation … any choice of hardware and software," Levitin said. "This bound poses an absolute law of nature, just like the speed of light."

Though, we could do some crazier things that we don't know about today to break through this wall.



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