FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Intel: Moore's Law Alive and Well

Some futurists wonder if Moore's Law -- the famous principle stating that computing power doubles every 18 months -- will eventually hit a wall as the physical limits of chip design are reached. But Intel CEO Craig Barrett isn't worried; at a recent Intel Developer Forum, he predicted that Moore's Law will remain applicable well into the future.

Barrett forecast that the chip-maker will be able to create processors with elements as small as 5 nanometers -- or 50 hydrogen atoms -- across, and that chips with 65-nanometer features were in the immediate offing. Intel has already created chip prototypes with features as small as 22 nanometers, and clearly sees nanotechnology as the way to consistently increase chip power while reducing size.

Says Barrett, "I've told [Intel co-founder and Moore's Law originator Gordon Moore] I plan to help him celebrate the 50th anniversary of Moore's Law in 2015, and hopefully the 60th anniversary in 2025."

Intel has unveiled an additional technology to increase chip power: the ability to connect processors to help them better exchange data. Called through-silicon vias, or TSV, the technique stacks processors and provides physical connections between them.

Sources: ZDNet, C|Net, KurzweilAI.net