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Physicist: Moore’s Law as We Know It Is on Its Last Legs

Network World (05/01/12) Jon Gold

City College of New York theoretical physics professor Michio Kaku believes Moore’s Law is breaking down.  Moore’s Law states that computing power doubles about once every 18 months, but Kaku, who has predicted its collapse since at least 2003, says the critical point will be reached within a decade.  He says the constant shrinking of transistors is unsustainable.  Intel has a new chip called Ivy Bridge that represents a 10-nanometer reduction from the previous generation, but it has been found to run hotter than its predecessors under overclocking, which could suggest that transistor density and size are becoming a concern for microprocessors.  Three-dimensional chips–a feature of Ivy Bridge–and parallel processing could potentially delay the collapse of Moore’s Law, but Kaku says these workarounds will eventually reach their limits.  New forms of computing may provide a solution for processing power.  He says molecular transistors are promising, but current fabrication techniques do not allow for mass production.  Quantum computers also could eventually become more powerful and practical, but they are even less well understood.

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