Peter Bright on one of the driving forces of modern computers.
Moore’s law has died at the age of 51 after an extended illness.
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made an observation that the number of components in integrated circuits was doubling every 12 months or so.
That was then and this is now.
In the 1980s and 1990s the value of the extra transistors was obvious: the Pentium was much faster than the 486, the Pentium II much faster than the Pentium, and so on and so forth. Existing workloads gained substantial speed-ups just from processor upgrades, thanks to a combination of better processors (going from simple in-order processors to complex superscalar out-of-order processors) and higher clockspeeds. Those easy improvements stopped coming in the 2000s. Constrained by heat, clock speeds have largely stood still, and the performance of each individual processor core has increased only incrementally. What we see instead are multiple processor cores within a single chip. This increases the overall theoretical performance of a processor, but it can be difficult to actually exploit this improvement in software.
Faster in theory, not in practice.