Macro-economic consequences of Moore's law?

By: RichardC (tich.delete@this.pobox.com), April 19, 2017 12:08 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
David Hess (davidwhess.delete@this.gmail.com) on April 19, 2017 11:16 am wrote:
> RichardC (tich.delete@this.pobox.com) on April 19, 2017 5:56 am wrote:

> That video from Intel which was linked here a couple months ago discussed the link between power and Moore's
> law. Power per transistor *had* to go down to take advantage of denser transistors and denser transistors were
> needed to lower the cost per transistor. This had to happen despite a loss in transistor performance.

But I think it's a mistake to focus only on Intel, who have missed out badly on the phone/tablet
boom, and instead have found themselves chasing improvements in server TCO (by putting more and
more cores per cpu, with less and less power per core) and laptop battery life. ISTM the more
representative markets are for stuff like mid-range quad-core ARM phone chips, which aren't
pushing the envelope on density, and a whole lot of embedded SoCs in set-top boxes and
WiFi routers, which also aren't close to the edge in terms of density, but don't want to run
too hot in quiet/small boxes.

And my impression is that a whole lot of products stayed on 28-32nm processes for a long long
time, because they didn't *need* the extra density, and the cost per transistor on the newer
processors stayed high for quite a while (though I guess eventually they must have matured
and got cheaper). In other words, the move to smaller feature sizes isn't an economic slam-dunk
the way it used to be. Is that right ?
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