Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Apr 2009 19:44 UTC
IBM "Moore's Law is maxing out. This is an oft-made prediction in the computer industry. The latest to chime in is an IBM fellow, according to a report. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors on a microprocessor would double approximately every two years - a prediction that has proved to be remarkably resilient. But IBM Fellow Carl Anderson, who researches server computer design at IBM, claims the end of the era of Moore's Law is nigh, according to a report in EE Times. Exponential growth in every industry eventually has to come to an end, according Anderson, who cited railroads and speed increases in the aircraft industry, the report said.
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I've never understood...
by thavith_osn on Fri 10th Apr 2009 23:35 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

Moore's Law.

I mean, why they called it a law. A law is something that is real and proven. A theory is something unproven. I always thought it should be Moore's Theory (or Moore's Observation)...

I'm sure it was a little tongue in cheek, but anyway...

Reply Score: 5

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Your distinction between Law and Theory is not true. A theory is a systematic explanation of something which may have a body of evidence confirming it (if it's an accepted theory it pretty much must have a solid grounding in evidence.. a rejected or half-baked theory has incorrect evidence or no evidence whatsoever).

There is no such thing as a 'law' in scientific discourse, so the word 'law' is really a qualitative label that people put on theories or ideas which they think are solid. Or the word law can be used in another sense as more of a rhetorical device. In this case, Moore's Law is more of a rule-of-thumb than an actual theory even.

From everything I've read and the interactions I've had with professors in the microelectronics field, designing a commercial chip is as much art as a science. Given the competition in the field and the high degree of specialization of the various people involved in producing a chip, everyone looks for rules of thumb, industry consensus, generic simplified models, etc, to help figure out what to build, how to build it, and what design techniques are likely to give good results.

I don't remember who said this, but one of the senior members of a chip company compared building a chip to Russian Roulette: "When you start building a chip, you pull the trigger... you find out five years down the line whether you've blown your head off."

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: I've never understood...
by Pawel Ciupak on Sat 11th Apr 2009 10:41 in reply to "I've never understood..."
Pawel Ciupak Member since:
2009-04-04

Hm, I think, that you’re wrong. Something, that is unproven is a hypothesis, not theory. So, so called „Moore’s law” should really be „Moore’s hypothesis” ;P.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I've never understood...
by Alleister on Sat 11th Apr 2009 17:03 in reply to "I've never understood..."
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Newtons law of gravity doesn't deal with relativity and thus scales beyond speed of light.
That doesn't make it worthless or incorrect, it just looses precision beyond a certain point.

Law isn't a defined term in science and you are mixing up Hypothesis and Theory.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I've never understood...
by zaine_ridling on Tue 14th Apr 2009 21:52 in reply to "I've never understood..."
zaine_ridling Member since:
2007-05-13

Disagree. Scientific theories are facts supported by mountains of evidence, sometimes over centuries (evolution, for example). To say something is a theory -- in science -- means it's waiting to be disproven and no one has done it yet.

Reply Parent Score: 1