Moore's Law is becoming irrelevant

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RSL, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. RSL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #1
    So says the CEO of ARM http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507116/moores-law-is-becoming-irrelevant/

    I think this is an important topic.

    My take on it is that's it's becoming more and more true for consumer devices. For a lot of people, old macs (say first core2) are enough for their daily needs (media consumption, ms office). Heck now even a tablet can handle most of those with ease. With the merging of mobile and desktop OSs, this will further hold back the computing requirements (Windows 8 is a prime example).

    It's kind of a dilemna for Apple because it has to force machines to become obsolete for no good reason in order to keep selling hardware. For the time being this is still justifiable for the older iOS devices, but I look forward to seeing the reasons they come up with for 64bit macs (GPU limitation was the basic ML argument, not convincing).
     
  2. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #2
    To an extent... but he has a vested interest, being CEO of a low power/low processing power CPU company.

    There will be a "killer app" sooner or later that will start the demand for CPU up again sooner or later.

    Back in the 90s, it was 3d games and MP3s, for FPU performance. In the early 00s 3d (and video compression) again pushed for more power. Increasing use of sandboxing, encryption and virtualization has been making demands as of late.

    Will it be facial recognition? Improved voice recognition? Holographic projection?

    Who knows.

    There is still plenty of stuff we can't do on computers due to limited CPU resources.

    If we did have a lot more CPU, video compression could be a lot better, for one...




    That said, ARM does have a chance of stealing the market out from underneath intel if intel isn't careful. Intel need to be pushing to find that "killer app" i mention above.

    Just as intel stole the high end market from Sun, MIPS, etc, ARM could do the same to intel.
     
  3. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    #3
    Reminds me of that quote where everything that needs to be invented has already been invented.
    So, everything that needs to be programmed has already been programmed :)
     
  4. switon, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    switon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #4
    RE: quoting the grandfather of Olivia Newton-John...

    Hi all,

    My favorite analogous quote was by the grandfather of Olivia Newton-John who starred with John Travolta in the movie adaptation of the Broadway hit "Grease", Max Born, Nobel laureate and often considered to be the father of modern quantum mechanics because of his statistical interpretation of the wave function. In 1928, while showing a group of visitors around Göttingen University he said to them,

    "Physics, as we know it, will be over in six months".

    Of course, he was referring to Paul A. M. Dirac's recent discovery of the Dirac Equation describing the spin states of the electron. The Dirac Equation, of course, went on to predict the existence of antimatter which was experimentally discovered four years later, albeit it was first observed in 1929.

    Regards,
    Switon
     
  5. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #5
    People often mistake Moore's Law.

    It's never been about absolute speed and more about transistor counts doubling every 18 months.

    You can do many things with more transistors but eventually we'll run into physicals limits. What ARM is probably saying is that once these limits are hit we're going to have come up with inventive ideas to keep performance up.
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #6
    He's actually talking about the flip side of Moore's law, that as it continues we at the same time have seen twice the performance for half the power draw every 18 months or so.

    These two coupled together mean very big things 10+ years out. Imagine devices that use so little power that they can literally be charged with ambient light, friction, or simple piezoelectrics.

    Very big things coming down the pipeline.
     
  7. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #7
    Loved this part

    It’s often said that ARM-based chips can’t be powerful enough to support everything PCs need to do. For example: image editing and processing.

    That’s rubbish. There’s nothing intrinsic in the architecture which stops you [from] being at the high end of performance. Traditionally ARM has found a lot of opportunity in things like mobile phones, where you don’t want to have something which is super high-performance because it consumes more power or real estate. But if you pick another design point, like a computer, the battery’s going to be a lot bigger so you can use more energy. It’s like having a car with a bigger fuel tank. If the only fuel tank you want to put on your car is a small one, then you have to be quite efficient. If someone wants to build a Ferrari and have a bigger fuel tank, then fine, you can make the engine do more. The ARM microprocessor was never designed for mobile in the first place. It ran a computer with a Windows-type operating system before Microsoft ever had Windows, called RISC-OS. There’s nothing inherent in the microprocessor architecture that says you can’t have computers and keyboards and mice.

    Neatly addresses that "I guess Apple doesn't care about Professionals" argument.
     

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