For a long time Moore’s Law has been associated with the personal computers and the chips that go inside them, and with the changes in the PC landscape many have started to wonder if Moore’s Law had come to the end of the line. Infact, Moore’ Law, as original noted by Gordon Moore in 1965 – the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 24 months – is more relevant now than ever before.
Drew Lanza, general partner with Morgenthaler Ventures, who points out that while the PC itself might be disappearing, mobile devices such as the iPhone are the new beneficiaries of Moore’s Law. Moore’s original research paper didn’t say anything about processor clock speed. It said you could, with every generation of chips, cram more transistors into the same space.
A new generation of phones, say the new Nokia N95 combine video camera, MP3 players, VoIP calling and along with support for all sort of networks. Those are the features that are available in say a low end Macbook, sans the big screen, CD drive and a keyboard.
And that’s the point, Lanza says: “The future is putting all of those features onto just a handful of inexpensive chips, and adding more and more functionality. That is where Moore’s Law has moved.”
In the near future Mr. Moore’s wisdom will be called upon to build ever smaller, more powerful super combo chips that do even more – like add mobile WiMAX support, TV receivers, UWB features and what not.
Read my full column over on the Business 2.0 website.