IoT is sweeping the world by storm, AI is becoming so ubiquitous that most of the time we can't tell the difference between a bot and a person nowadays, and everything you touch will eventually become "smart" by being able to connect to a network.
One person predicted all of these things back in the 1960's, and his law has reigned supreme since.
In 1965, Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel Corporation, predicted that "the number of transistors on a chip would double every 18 months at a relatively low cost."
He went on to say that after a certain point, this growth would no longer be necessary or economically viable as the chips would be small enough to serve their purpose.
In essence, he predicted that the chips would become doubly powerful every 18 months until more processing power would be redundant. So far, everything he said has proven to be true.
Ever since the chips were developed and introduced to the market, they've improved and grown more powerful. They've also become smaller, so much so that we now have them in our smart wrist watches and headphones.
We have chips the size of pennies that can easily accommodate billions of transistors and have processing power that only Moore could have dreamt up.
The end of Moore's Law signals the end of a principle that has been driving growth and change in technology for several decades now. Technologists have relied on this law to advance technology with confidence and to introduce faster, better, and more precise devices every few years.
The law was a comfortable space with near guarantee of success because developers knew that the market wanted and needed faster and better chips. Leading chip manufacturers like Intel and Samsung now agree that by 2021, the law will come to an end, and that's a good thing.
Here are four reasons why:
1. No more limiting factors
You've probably noticed that with every new development in the chip industry, the devices that require the chips undergo development too. That's why we see new smartphone versions released every year; in most cases, they have more advanced chips and technology.
The same is said of computers and other similar devices. Unfortunately, software hasn't kept up with hardware when it comes to development.
Research and tests agree that software programs have become slower and more complex and don't utilize the full processing power of chips. With the end of Moore's Law approaching, software developers will have more time to focus on creating software that will utilize the power more efficiently.
In a way, Moore's Law has been limiting software development; so without that crutch, it's very likely that software could improve by leaps and bounds.
Components will become cheaper as time passes by, especially if little development occurs in the hardware industry. Manufacturers will focus on things like better battery life for laptops, smartphones, and other such devices, instead of chip development.
That will bring down the overall cost of components and therefore the devices as well. Computing and smart devices will become much more affordable in the future, and you will be able to do more with less.
3. Everything will be connected
Thanks to smaller chip sizes and higher processing power, we've entered the world of smart devices. Everything from your wrist watch to your television is connected to the Internet, and many applications have now moved to the Cloud.
Eventually, all of your processes and applications will move to Cloud-based computing and any native computers, and devices will require less power and will make do with less efficient chips.
Conversely, servers and databanks that power cloud computing will require more processing power and better hardware utilization by software. This will give rise to the need for more innovation and better efficiency outside the realm of semiconductors.
4. The future of the Internet of Things
Everything is already moving towards full-blown IoT, with cloud computing advancing at an unseen pace, as BBC reported recently, everything will be in the cloud. Google and other big companies are helping advance this cause by creating fiber optic communities and operating systems dedicated to IoT specifically.
We also use more connected devices in almost all avenues of our lives as higher Internet speeds, smaller computer chips, and smarter devices take computing to the next level. Eventually, every single physical thing you see will have the ability to be connected to a network. From water bottles that show your daily hydration intake, to business cards that link directly to your website. Everything will be connected.
It's important as a humanity to leave our comfort zone and explore other possibilities (just ask Elon). Relying on Moore's Law would limit how much we grow as a species. So, rather than seeing this as an end, we should celebrate and see this as the new beginning. It's exciting to look forward to the future.