The 6th Tenet of Cloud Technology: Moore’s Law is Too Slow

There have been quite a number of articles recently discussing how Moore’s Law is going to advance cloud and mobile computing.  Most people marvel at how fast changes are coming and give credit to the continued pace of Moore’s Law.  However, Moore’s Law is just a marketing triumph and not an inherent property of the speed of innovation.  Consider:

  • Intel has previously delayed the launch of CPUs when it had no real competitive pressure to release faster than Moore’s Law would dictate.  For example, in 2007, Intel delayed releasing its fastest desktop processor even though it was ready because there was nothing competitive on the market.  This is smart business practice for clearing inventory and recouping investments, but it doesn’t advance technology faster.  Even now, Intel seems to be delaying Sandy Bridge, without external pressure .  So, Intel is keeping pace with Moore’s law for traditional CPUs without breaking a sweat
  • In the mobile CPU space, where ARM is the current leader, Intel has announced that it is going to increase the pace of its innovation to double (double!) that of Moore’s Law in order to catch up.  This is perhaps the clearest indicator that Moore’s Law is not a fundamental pace of progress but merely a baseline for the most capable companies

As we look ahead to cloud, then, we should expect innovation to accelerate compared to what we’ve seen before.  Consider some recent developments:

All of this is happening because of a confluence of the cloud revolution, new competition, and breakthrough demand.  And, this doesn’t begin to address the software-based innovations that are coming because of cloud computing.  If you thought previous technology advances came quickly, they’re going to seem molasses slow compared to what’s coming in cloud.

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