Less Is Moore – A Technological Development Story

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.,- Many have seen the advance in technology over the years, but it is a lesser known that this advance was predicted years before it could be proven.

Over 60 years ago Gordon E. Moore(co-founder of Intel) made the observation that the number of transistors that can be packed into a given unit of space will double about every two years.  

Moore conveys the idea that computers, machines that run on computers, and computing power all become faster, smaller and cheaper within every 2 years time. The importance of this observation impacts our daily life in more ways than we realize. 

Have you ever experienced the same problem happening every 2 years where you have to purchase a new computer or in need of a new cell phone because it is either too slow or just want to run new and updated applications? 

In 2016 the average amount of months a customer would wait to buy another cell phone was 22.7 months.  

As more features and applications require more processing power to run, and as human need for the advancements of speeds are rising, Moore’s law allows us to have some sort of guideline or “golden rule” for us to use as a judgment of how we should be progressing.  

Another aspect that should be considered is the size of our computers in modernday life compared to our yesteryear compatriots, filling rooms with whirring towers used to solve a simple task. One way to test the processing power of a processor is to measure the amount of FLOPS (Floating Operations Per Second) it has. 

The IBM 7090(1959), worth the equivalent of $20 million today, had about 10,000 FLOPS. Impressive for its time, but not so impressive when compared to an iPhone that has 1.6 billion FLOPS of power. That is not even the newest iPhone; that’s the power of an iPhone 4(2010) that sold for $299. That is a major change in speed, size and cost.  

Some believe that Moore’s law is dead when compared to the idea of CPU’s, Intel’s bread and butter, but others see it live on in GPUs (Graphic Processing Unit)also known as a graphics card, which is used to process images like amazing 4k videos or super realistic video games.  

The most recent component in tech is the Nvidia RTX 3080 (picture on right). The latest advancement in GPUs since it has almost 50 percent more speed than the previous generation the RTX 2080, which released in 2018 and for the same price of $700. 

 

This also explains why NVIDIA VP Of Technical Marketing Tony Tamasi said  “it wasn’t a case that we didn’t build any, and it wasn’t a case that our add-in card guys didn’t have supply either…I just think that the demand was enormous,” in response to the new GPU being sold out within minutes.  

It goes to show how advancements in technology are ever evolving and with the mindset of Moore’s law where components are becoming faster, smaller, and cheaper within 2 years time.

These advancements give excitement for the future of our world and how eventually even the most common of people will have access to these amazing capabilities.  

Caleb Ridgeway
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