Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Moore's Law and Nanotechnology

"Today's computer interfaces, the imaginary places where we meet and exchange information with our machines, are simply laughable compared to what's coming. Most of us are still crouched before a screen, attended by a keyboard and mouse. Occasionally we execute little curlicues with the mouse, but mostly we type---slowly---on the keyboard, feeding a trickle of information to the computer, while it spews back a niagara of information onto the screen. We don't converse with our machines, we send them telegrams." Gregory Rawlins, Moths to the Flame

Each time is appears Moore's Law is coming to an end somebody somewhere breaks a barrier and it continues. In the last couple of years we have seen a slowing in the advancement of computer processor speeds. People are beginning to wonder if the incredible acceleration in CPU speed we have seen in the last two decades will finally slow down as it appears might be happening. Yes, as Grace Hopper suggested, we can put to or more CPUs together and increase the over all speed of a computer, but the process of fabricating CPUs might be hitting a bit of a barrier. Maybe....

Nanotechnology is making rapid advances and with the coming of "bottom up" nano-fabrication another barrier in Moore's Law might soon be coming down. A recent discussion by Sunlin Chou at Intel shed light on what the future of silicon might be and how nanotechnology is involved.

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