Moores Law is Alive and Well

tegra
Logan and Parker are the names of the next generation mobile CPU/GPU chips coming from Nvidia.

This party has wondered if Moores Law which see a doubling of CPU chip performance for the same cost roughly every two years can be sustained. This is important because Moores Law which drives electronics but is stretched to the limits given laws of physics which control numbers of well connected cores or the GHz cycle time for CPU chips which in turn are the traditional drivers of Moores law performance improvements. So will chip designers be able to wiggle out of these cul de sac limits to chip performance? Well the GPU Conference in Silicon Valley implies that chip performance will outpace Moores Law with combined GPU+CPU Systems on a Chip.

What is stunning is that these combined CPU+GPU chips are out-running Moores Law which would expect in 5-6 years an  8 times improvement in raw CPU chip performance Рhowever there is a 100 times improvement seen here for the same time period. Thus Nvidia expects a 100 times improvement in performance between Tegra 2 of 2011 and Parker or Tegra 6 in 2015 because of parallel processing, miniaturization and 3D chip creation.  And there is less power usage while  incorporating software/hardware distinct processing routines for sophisticated tasks like smart modem processing or face recognition. These will be the chips that will power the tablets, smartphones, and personal electronic devices of the next 2 or 3 generations.
The full Nvidia Chip Roadmap

But Nvidia is not alone. Qualcomm with its very popular Snapdragon line of ARM chips has equally ambitious power and performance designs for the next 2 years as seen here. Likewise, Intel is moving quickly to the SoC-System on a Chip designs of Nvidia and Qualcomm as it works overtime to preserve its once pre-eminent position in client computing.

In sum, one can clearly see that Moores Law improvements in device performance is likely to be greatly exceeded over the next 3-5 years. These improvements will tend to benefit tablets and smartphones over PC ultrabooks and desktops. Thus other factors such as UI interface interaction, power management and who can crack the new modes of software development [heavy parallel processing and intelligent GPU utilization coupled with integration of 801.ac WiFi, NFC, and other advanced transmission capabilities] will determine who emerges to dominate the CES and SXSW reveal floors over the next few years.

3 comments for “Moores Law is Alive and Well

  1. moore
    March 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    moore’s law is about transistor count not power or speed or anything else.

    • March 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Agreed – but Moores Law has over the past decades taken on a broader meaning. It now is a proxy measure of the performance and features enabled by the ever increasing transistor counts in CPU chips.

  2. this guy
    March 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I’m hopeful that graphene is going to push the proverbial cul due sac afew hundred more miles down the road as far as physics is concerned. I might be dreaming too big, but consumer grade THz or even PHz systems might be reality within the next decade, if graphene really takes off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *