Moore's Law is a term used to describe the increase in computing power over time. Moore's Law is the observation that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (or microprocessor) doubles every two years. This course describes how Moore’s Law has proven true for the past fifty years and discusses how the computing industry will have one of two fates. Either the increase in computing power over time will eventually level off due to physical limitations or further advances in computing power will allow processing power to exponentially increase. Could this exponential increase in processing power eventually lead to a technological singularity?
At the conclusion of this course the student will learn:
• the definition of Moore's Law
• how Moore's Law has affected the semiconductor industry
• what visionaries say about the future of technology
• the definition of a technological singularity
This course is intended for all engineers.
Advances in technology throughout human history have never been as evident as the advances in computer technology in the latter half of the twentieth century and the early part of the twenty-first century. Technological progress is no longer seemingly liner; it is clearly exponential. The trend in the increase in computational power is predicted by Moore's Law.
Moore's Law is a term used to describe the increase in computing power over time. Moore's Law is the observation that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (or microprocessor) doubles every two years.
A transistor is a tiny semiconductor device used to switch electronic signals. A transistor is a simple digital switch. When used in a digital circuit the transistor is either on or off.
Logic gates build on the switching power of a transistor to make more complex building blocks. A logic gate is the fundamental building block for a digital integrated circuit, and the fundamental building block for a logic gate is the transistor. Logic gates include AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, XOR. All of these logic gates can be built using only NAND gates. This simplifies and reduces the complexity of integrated circuits by only using one basic type of logic gate. NAND gates can be assembled to form flip flops (like the D flip flop); these flip flops are called registers and form the basis of microprocessor cores. The heart of a computer is a microprocessor, and microprocessors are built from logic gates and the basic building block of a logic gate is a transistor.
Moore's Law is a term used to describe the increase in computing power over time. Moore's Law was introduced in 1965 by Gordon Moore. Moore's Law is gauged by the maximum number of transistors on a microprocessor or memory chip at any given point in time. He stated that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit will double approximately every two years. Whether held up by the accuracy of Moore's visionary prediction or driven by industry’s thirst to keep up with the trend in technology, Moore's prediction has proven to be true for almost five decades.
This exponential computing trend has affected all avenues of life including (by not limited to) the following: personal computers, communications, transportation, navigation, agriculture, medical, world finance, education, and social media. Some industry experts believe Moore's Law will reach a fundamental limit within the next few decades, while others expect a revolution in the microprocessor technology to maintain the trend.
Many visionaries feel that we humans will soon reach a point in our existence that can be described as unpredictable and maybe even unsettling. This point in history (if the predictions are true) will be the result of an intelligence explosion caused by a technological singularity. A technological singularity is the point in human history where life or even existence after the event which is based on technological progress is unpredictable or incomprehensible.
These are only predictions though. The fact of the matter is this: we don't know. We don't know enough about consciousness to apply the concept to a machine (yet) if it is even possible...