Physicist predicts Moore's Law will collapse in about 10 years

By on May 1, 2012, 4:00 PM

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku has posted a video discussing the collapse of Moore’s Law in about 10 years or so. Physicists have been predicting the end of Moore’s Law for quite some time but Kaku’s reasoning and the slowing down of processing power that we already see today lends some credibility to his claims.

For those unfamiliar, Moore’s Law pertains to computer hardware, stating that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit board can be doubled roughly every two years. You’ve probably alternately heard of an 18-month time frame tossed around. This modified cycle can be credited to Intel executive David House, not Moore.

Kaku says that in about 10 years, silicon power will be exhausted. Intel has already admitted that Moore’s Law is slowing down using silicon which is one of the reasons that we are seeing Tri-Gate transistors used in Ivy Bridge CPUs – an effort to try and extend the effective life of silicon.

The problem, Kaku says, is two-fold: heat and leakage. Today’s Intel processors have a layer that is almost down to 20 atoms across. When this layer is shrunk down to around five atoms across, “it’s all over.” At this point, the heat that is generated will be so intense that the chip will melt. The other concern is leakage, meaning we simply wouldn’t know where the electron is anymore.

So what’s in store for computing in the post-silicon era? Multiple proposals have been laid out, including but not limited to optical computers, protein computers, DNA computers, molecular computers and quantum computers.

The latter two solutions seem to be the most commonly accepted “future computers” but both solutions still present enormous challenges that must be conquered. Molecular computers already exist but mass production and wiring up the tiny molecules remains an issue.

Quantum computing is even more finicky with the world record for a quantum computing calculation being: 3 x 5 = 15. As Kaku explains, it doesn’t sound very impressive until you realize it was proven using only five atoms.

Wrapping it all up, Kaku predicts that scientists will tweak Moore’s Law in the next 10 years to extend its life. After that, molecular computers will likely take over followed by quantum computers later in the 21st century.




User Comments: 40

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Guest said:

Graphene is the future

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Graphene is the future

Grapheme // Silicine (or Silicine / Silicene or something) at first then late this century we will see large breakthroughs in Quantum Computing which will destroy all known architectures (although maybe in far future we will see something different which will put everything in shame).

Guest said:

Artix, "maybe in far future we will see something different which will put everything in shame."

Bro, you are so smart, I gotta subscribe to your Tweeter feed.

Guest said:

Moore's Law is a complete misnomer. It's not a law at all. By definition, laws are constant, proven, and unending. The Law of Gravity, for instance.

That is not the case with Moore's "Law". Moore's "Challenge" might be more appropriate, or Moore's "Temporary Posit". Moore's Law doesn't exist because it's not a law.

It's rather embarrassing that tech sites continue to perpetuate this nonsense. Makes the industry look bad. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this before.

Guest said:

I'm not sure that quantum world exist.

Guest said:

I don't know if I remember right but I think exactly the same was said 15 years ago.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Moore's Law is a complete misnomer. It's not a law at all. By definition, laws are constant, proven, and unending. The Law of Gravity, for instance.

That is not the case with Moore's "Law". Moore's "Challenge" might be more appropriate, or Moore's "Temporary Posit". Moore's Law doesn't exist because it's not a law.

It's rather embarrassing that tech sites continue to perpetuate this nonsense. Makes the industry look bad. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this before.

Because it is yet to fail as a law...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm not sure that quantum world exist.

I'm wondering the same thing. :/

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

I guess neither of you read Max Planck's theories. Neither the Theory of Equilibrium. If there exists matter, there has to be equal magnitude of antimatter to counter the force it exerts on the dimension containing it. This theory, however, does not explain why the universe exists then, as the antimatter created by the big bang should have canceled out the matter created. So another theory, the Reverse World, was proposed. So the two contrasting entities need not be in the same plane. In other words, they are two sides of the same coin, and neither can be accessed while on the other side. You can only be in one at one time.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I guess neither of you read Max Planck's theories. Neither the Theory of Equilibrium. If there exists matter, there has to be equal magnitude of antimatter to counter the force it exerts on the dimension containing it. This theory, however, does not explain why the universe exists then, as the antimatter created by the big bang should have canceled out the matter created. So another theory, the Reverse World, was proposed. So the two contrasting entities need not be in the same plane. In other words, they are two sides of the same coin, and neither can be accessed while on the other side. You can only be in one at one time.

Or you could simply not bother to go on thinking, or worrying about it at all. Just take a nice deep breath, run along, and go break your head with string theory......

Artix, "maybe in far future we will see something different which will put everything in shame."

Bro, you are so smart, I gotta subscribe to your Tweeter feed.

Oddly, it had just the opposite effect on me. I was suddenly overcome by the urge to close my "Tweeter account". Then silly me realized I've never opened one....Wow, dodged a bullet there, dids't I not?

Guest said:

and oneday, binary became a 2

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

and oneday, binary became a 2
Don't you worry about being able to count all the way to two! When pocket sized super colliders are needed to power quantum computing iPhones, Apple will be there to supply them. If you sign up for Apple care, they'll send somebody to your house to teach you how to count to two. Then they'll track your dumb a** all over the globe using your phone's radioactive signature.

Aw, I'm jus' kiddin'. Yoo know that don't cha?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think you meant, Facebook will be there to track you all over the globe.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I think you meant, Facebook will be there to track you all over the globe.
Look, in the future, if you don't have a quantum iPhone, then you don't have a Quantum iPhone.

And why would anybody want to limit their Quantum iPhone....?

It's daybreak here, so let's make that our, "thought for the day", shall we?

Go Facebook....! Go FIOS....! YAY....1

Guest said:

Everything will collapse when people will realise they live in Matrix

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Did I hear 'paranoid schizophrenia'?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Because it is yet to fail as a law...

The 'theory' of evolution hasn't failed yet either. And anyway.... Moore's Principle states that the number of transistors can be doubled roughly every two years. Roughly? As in 'about' every two years? There aren't any estimations in laws.

Or you could simply not bother to go on thinking, or worrying about it at all. Just take a nice deep breath, run along, and go break your head with string theory......

As much I enjoy the wonderful string theory and all its beautiful 11 dimensions or whatever, someone taught me once that science is either measurable or observable.

treetops treetops said:

I think its become less of a guideline on predicting growth and more of a sales plan. Whats stopping them from making a 16 core processor?

Guest said:

Moore's "Law" hasn't failed.....so far......because tech has been pushing forward. But it can fail, all the companies have to do it simply not update the tech. Whether they will do that is another story, but the fact is the "law" can easily fail by inaction. That, by definition, is not a "law". The Law of Gravity simply exists, where you are around or not. It is constant. Inaction will not change it. Moore's "Law" cannot fulfill this requirement, and as such, it's not a law. It's more of a "challenge" or a "belief". But it does not measure up as a law, and people should stop calling it that; it's simply foolish hype. The irony is laughable.

Guest said:

Heat, eh? That can be solved in other ways, e.g. high TC superconductors. There are people studying it downstairs here as I type.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why are you guys talking about whether or not this should be considered a law? Laws are dropped or modified everyday, when they are no longer relevant. Moore's Law is no different from all the other laws, it will remain a law until it is no longer relevant.

Mindwraith said:

I stopped reading as soon as I saw "Michio Kaku"

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The 'theory' of evolution hasn't failed yet either.
YES, it has.....!

Those of us that aren't inbred, (and those individuals are legion), are too smart for our own good. Then there's the much more durable cockroach.

Listen, it's been dull here @ TS for a bit. Let's do something fun. We could set the entire Amazon rain forest on sale, and sell it for charcoal.

As much I enjoy the wonderful string theory and all its beautiful 11 dimensions or whatever, someone taught me once that science is either measurable or observable.
Yet still, don't you think I would keep "Marnomancer" from prattling about more than 1, but less than 11 dimensions, at least for a time...?

Guest said:

funny how one of the most mathematically complete theories known to man suggests there is an infinite number of universes....and that makes fairies inevitable? And here we are making assumptions one way or the other while we think we know we are right.... yea...

Guest said:

In the far future, I'm afraid we won't see any of it my friend. :P

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

funny how one of the most mathematically complete theories known to man suggests there is an infinite number of universes....and that makes fairies inevitable? And here we are making assumptions one way or the other while we think we know we are right.... yea...

funny how one of the most mathematically complete theories known to man suggests there is an infinite number of universes....and that makes fairies inevitable? And here we are making assumptions one way or the other while we think we know we are right.... yea...

No, you're right. There are fairies everywhere, even in the best of homes......

Wow, I posted that reply to two dimensions, but the quote appeared in this dimension twice.....this will not do.....

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

am i the only person who has absolutely no idea what the above people are talking about?

Ima need to take some more physics stuffs.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

am i the only person who has absolutely no idea what the above people are talking about?

Ima need to take some more physics stuffs.

Your not alone.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

am i the only person who has absolutely no idea what the above people are talking about?

Ima need to take some more physics stuffs.

Really, how could you be? The people that we give credit for knowing these things, such as nuclear physicists, have no idea what they're talking about either. This BS always makes for a great episode of "Nova", don't cha think....?

inventix1136 said:

Why are you guys talking about whether or not this should be considered a law? Laws are dropped or modified everyday, when they are no longer relevant. Moore's Law is no different from all the other laws, it will remain a law until it is no longer relevant.

Really, then why does Idaho have a law "Riding a merry-go-round on Sundays is considered a crime." or Michigan "A woman isn?t allowed to cut her own hair without her husband?s permission.". There are way too many laws that are never dropped.

Guest said:

NO Coward poster iT is YOU who makes the industry look bad. Leave it now and never consider rejoining. For you a lowly position as an artist is the best to which you can aspire. Regarding Moores Law, its already becoming slightly moot as multiple cores becomes prevalent. I dont understand why smaller Dies means greater Heat.

Scientists recently recently discovered a new "superfood" a mixture of many vegatables in a sauce. Discovered by Prof. Cole. How great is that?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

NO Coward poster iT is YOU who makes the industry look bad. Leave it now and never consider rejoining. For you a lowly position as an artist is the best to which you can aspire. Regarding Moores Law, its already becoming slightly moot as multiple cores becomes prevalent. I dont understand why smaller Dies means greater Heat.

Scientists recently recently discovered a new "superfood" a mixture of many vegatables in a sauce. Discovered by Prof. Cole. How great is that?

Spoken like a true Jihhadist adbot. You go girlfriend......

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Really, then why does Idaho have a law "Riding a merry-go-round on Sundays is considered a crime." or Michigan "A woman isn?t allowed to cut her own hair without her husband?s permission.". There are way too many laws that are never dropped.

I wasn't speaking for the ones that should be dropped or altered. Why are you taking my statement to extremes? I was speaking for the ones that have been dropped or modified. My point is laws are laws until someone decides they shouldn't be. Moore's Law is no different from any other law, which is subject to change at anytime.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Ladies, ladies, tranquilase, "Moore's Law" wasn't handed down on stone tablets anyway. More like silicon wafers........

Or possibly, "tranquilenos" I think that's the 3rd person subjunctive plural.

Guest said:

"There are fairies everywhere, even in the best of homes......"

No no, cpt, they couldnt possibly exist in our universe unless we prove it first.

Guest said:

it would be hard to prove something exists if it couldnt exist until we had proven it though...

Guest said:

The title of this article is misleading, no where does he claim that Moore's law will collapse, he just doesn't think silicon will be able to keep up with it.

Guest said:

then the question is if something better than silicon will be cheap enough by the time this is supposed to happen. im pretty sure its saying if our technology doesnt make some game-changing leap again then it will collapse.

Guest said:

Dude, I have mentioned it, and I think that it has been obvious for a very long time to most people using pure intuition that Moore's "Law" was false. People figure things out just by thinking about them long before any "scientific study" can prove them.

Guest said:

Yeah, but it just happens that you cannot go smaller than an atom. For example you can run but if I cut you in half you won't be able to run anymore... actually you want be even alive.

So I think you just cannot have electricity at subatomic level. Electrons have to move somewhere. You cannot split the electrons in half and have twice the number of the electrons. :)

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