The advances in processors have all been in production technique, not in fundamental breakthroughs. There is a big difference there. Probably production advances will improve reliability and possibly reduce cost, but breakthroughs are different.
And PLEASE don't get anything started where folks just assume that improvements will just continue to happen. That would be a pain to deal with.
Moore's Law IS just assuming that improvements will continue to happen.
Each company in Integrated Circuit design and manufacturing assumes that Moore's Law will continue, so they have been driven to compete by setting their goals for that level of improvement that Moore's Law predicts and then doing whatever it takes to get there.
There have been many obstacles since 1965 when Moore wrote that prediction that became Moore's Law, but the industry plowed through those obstacles. While the geometric shrinking has been the main method of achieving increased density, that is becoming too costly, so vertically sandwitching multiple layers of transistors is being attempted. There are already manufacturers tooling up for that. When that happens, density will double - and then more verticle layers will be added - and so on.
I think that I need to clarify a bit about the Moore's law about semiconductors and integrated circuits. Most of those advances that allowed for more transistors and tighter packaging were developments in the same manufacturing process, and all of them represented advances in the MANUFACTURING PROCESS. They were not the result of new discoveries or fundamentally new technologies, they have been process improvements.
The next change in betteries will need to be a fundamentally different technology, not just a process improvement. Process improvements will indeed bring us smaller and cheaper batteries, but not the large increase in capacity, (energy density) that we need in order to make electric cars a competitive reality. Some new chemistry or with elements that have a greater energy storage capacity, possibly lithium-flourine, may be a choice, except for the obvious tendancy toward explosion.
The worst thing would indeed be for those who don't have a clue as to what Moore's Law is really about to decide the future based on an assumption that the advances will come no matter what, and that we can be certain that the advances will be made "in time". That would be the setup for a serious dissapointment indeed.
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.