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01 April 2014

Interview: Prepare for the end of the silicon era

The IT industry relies on breakthroughs in hardware to innovate in software. These breakthroughs are governed by a far-reaching insight predicted by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel in 1965. Bernie Meyerson, IBM's vice-president for Innovation believes Moore’s Law is no longer possible. Meyerson led the development of silicon germanium and other high-performance technologies over a period of 10 years, and in 2003 he assumed operational responsibility for IBM’s global semi-conductor R&D effort. He says: "Gordon is a genius. Not many people will come up with something in their lives that holds true for many decades." But the chip technology underpinning Moore's Law has changed and Meyerson feels that the law has been taken to the limit. Through Moore’s Law chip designers can double the density of what they put on the chip every 18 months. They can manufacture chips that have twice the capability because they have twice as much material to work with. But if the density of transistors on the chip keeps doubling, eventually ...

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