Moore's law is out of date

Nvidia CEO: Moore’s Law is finished

"Moore's law cannot be implemented," said Nvidia boss Jensen Huang at the CES. "Moore's Law meant an increase of ten times in five years and a hundred times in ten years," said the co-founder of the graphics specialist at a panel discussion with journalists and analysts at CES 2019. "Now there is only a few increases Percent in the year. Perhaps it will double in every ten years. So Moore’s Law has come to an end. "

Moore’s Law was formulated in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and stated that the number of circuit components on a computer chip could be doubled at regular intervals - between 12 and 24 months. Law was to be understood in the sense of legality. This was usually accompanied by the assumption that the performance would be doubled in this period. Over the years, this has evolved into a formula for innovation at regular intervals that has benefited mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang presents the new graphics card RTX 2060 at CES 2019 (Image: James Martin / CNET).

However, silicon is now reaching its physical limits, after decades of success in reducing the size of the chip elements even further and thus achieving a high degree of integration. As chip components approach the size of individual atoms, it is becoming increasingly expensive and technically complex to meet the expectations raised by Moore. Occasionally, there are still hopes of being able to replace silicon as a transistor material with graphene, a layer of crystallized carbon only one atom thick.

This is not the first time that Nvidia CEO Huang Moore’s Law has been declared obsolete. Intel and Gordon Moore themselves have not yet commented on his recent statement at CES 2019. At Intel, the step towards 10 nanometer production was repeatedly delayed, while other manufacturers such as Samsung were already starting to manufacture chips with a 7 nanometer structure width.

"Moore's Law - in the strictest definition of doubling the chip density every two years - no longer happens," commented analyst Patrick Moorhead. "If we stop shrinking chips, it will have catastrophic effects in all technical industries." At the same time, he referred to other optimizations such as the use of GPUs (such as those manufactured by Nvidia), advanced software frameworks and tools, and new methods organize the chip circuits.

MediaTek CFO David Ku did not want to declare Moore’s Law invalid, but described a slowdown. The Taiwanese manufacturer of mobile chips has already arrived at 7 nm production and plans to work on 5 nm chips soon. "We see many benefits in terms of energy consumption," he said in an interview with at CES. “But we can probably no longer count on cost advantages as we used to.” The costs of chip production could even increase somewhat if more complex equipment is required for the EUV lithography process. "Even if Moore's Law slows down, it won't end," he said.

[with material from Shara Tibken,]