Moore’s Law is traditionally defined as the trend in which the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years (the exact details vary depending on whom you ask). But according to AMD’s Senior VP and CTO Mark Papermaster, even if the traditional form of Moore’s Law is coming to its end, energy efficiency is the new frontier for extending it. “While there has been plenty of debate as to whether Moore’s Law is running out as the industry continues to shrink chips down, energy efficiency is one way to expand it beyond its current form,” he said in an article at InformationWeek.
Although energy efficiency is not really a concern of Moore’s Law, it is a concern of the semiconductor industry, particularly with the growth of mobile-device IP developer ARM. Even Intel, the king of power consumption, has recently focused more on efficiency rather than just brute processing power. Moore’s Law should live and die solely on the basis of improvements in transistor density (or processing power—however the law is defined), but perhaps a new law could be defined in terms of efficiency. Such a law could replace Moore’s Law as the industry’s self-fulfilling prophecy and drive further innovation.
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