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The article, and the parent comment, share a common theme of "moving the goal posts" by re-defining (or at least attempting to re-contextualize) Gordon Moore's original conjecture.

There isn't anything wrong with that, but for TSMC's Global Marketing guy to try to do that, it makes me think that TSMC doesn't get it.

The argument "That isn't what Gordon meant, if you look at what he really said..." Attempts to dismiss four decades of what every engineer expected it to mean, and nobody was was correcting them because, well why should they because it was working.

It wasn't until it started obviously failing to be true, that semiconductor companies started arguing in favor of an interpretation they could meet, rather than admit that Moore's law was dead, as pretty much any engineer actually building systems would tell you. Somewhere there must be a good play on the Monty Python Parrot sketch where Moore's law stands in for the parrot and a semiconductor marketing manager stands in for the hapless pet shop owner.

It is really hard to make smaller and smaller transistors. And the laws of physics interferes. Further its really hard to get the heat out of a chip when you boost the frequency. Dennard, others, have characterized those limits more precisely and as we hit those limits, progress along that path slows to a crawl or stops. Amdahl pretty famously characterized the limits of parallelism, we are getting closer to that one too, even for things that are trivially parallelized like graphics or neural nets.

The fear semiconductor companies have is clear, if the only way to improve performance is better software, then you don't need new chips, and an idle fab, ready to do a wafer start, costs nearly as much as an active one.




Unless they figure out how to make even more advanced nanotechnology. (MEMS comes to mind. It's hard too. As are analog systems.) Also less power intensive.




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