Moore’s Law recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with numerous questions surrounding the future longevity of the law. Now, Gordon Moore himself has come out and said that he foresees the law lasting only another decade.
In 1965 Gordon Moore predicted that every 50 years the number of transistors on a computer chip would double every year while the cost of the chip would remain constant. Once the number of per-chip transistors hit 65,000 in 1975, Moore revised his prediction to state that the number would double every two years instead.
“Five to 10 years is reasonably clear,” Moore said during an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman at an event on San Francisco’s Pier 15. “And then it looks like you hit an insurmountable barrier, but that’s been the case for the past 30 years.”
He added that it is impossible for any exponential to go on forever.
The difficulty in pushing the law past 2025 is by then transistors will have become the size of mere atoms. By then it will simply be physically impossible to make transistors even smaller.
But a decade is a long time in the semiconductor business. By 2025 there might not be a need to push semiconductors to smaller and smaller sizes considering expected jumps in quantum computing. But also considering the R&D budget available to Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), maybe there will be something else entirely in store?