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Are Cheap Laptops a Roadblock for Moore's Law?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the there-will-always-be-gamers dept.

Portables 335

Timothy Harrington writes "Cnet.co.uk wonders if the $100 laptop could spell the end of Moore's Law: 'Moore's law is great for making tech faster, and for making slower, existing tech cheaper, but when consumers realize their personal lust for faster hardware makes almost zero financial sense, and hurts the environment with greater demands for power, will they start to demand cheaper, more efficient 'third-world' computers that are just as effective?" Will ridiculously cheap laptops wean consumers off ridiculously fast components?"

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335 comments

Is Zonk the end of Slashdot? (0, Troll)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971873)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

What a pointless article. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972483)

As long as high end processors sell, market demand drives Moore's law to be true. High end processors sell.

Moore's law holds true. End of story. Must be a slow news day like every other day.

I doubt it... (4, Insightful)

Nimsoft (858559) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971887)

I really don't think this is going to make a huge impact. Companies will always want to sell their latest, greatest hardware, and there will always be plenty of people ready to spend their money on the next best thing, that's how the technology industry works!

Re:I doubt it... (5, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971943)

True, but I think something like the $100 computer will have more of an effect in the laptop market as opposed to the desktop market. Generally (and a lot of /. ers are the exception) laptops are bought more for portability than for raw power. Whereas the desktop market has the more serious gamers as well as software developers that want more power. Granted, there are exceptions on both sides, but I would think the laptop market would be affected more by cheap hardware.

Moore's Law in Dynamic Equilibrium? (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972395)

affected by cheap hardware

Let's consider the above phrase. There are many opposing forces to Moore's Law if we draw a free-body diagram. Some people don't want better computers as we hear "I just use it for e-mail", as there are those with little time of their own to be ambitious with a computer though they may use fairly powerful software at work. Then, there's competition from the third world, who before couldn't afford anything good may be able to buy a computer that has a built in UPS and wireless networking. It's a revolutionary business tool that may raise the economic power of billions of people.

Moore's Law may be a self-perpetuating phrophecy.

Re:I doubt it... (2, Interesting)

steelclash84 (1129221) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972009)

I can see it as possibly a side-computer (internet browsing), but people will never buy a computer for main use that only has 1gb of "hard-drive" space that can only run a custom OS that has no mainstream software available. That's my take on it.

Re:I doubt it... (1)

d3matt (864260) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972291)

Since when was linux a custom OS? Sure you'll have to have your software compiled for the specific CPU, but that's relatively simple.

Re:I doubt it... (0, Flamebait)

the.nourse.god (972290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972223)

Its also how the auto industry works. The cheap/efficient mopeds and econoboxes haven't put much of a dent on SUV sales, now have they?

Re:I doubt it... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972513)

As usual, I don't think this car analogy really works well. An SUV carries/tows more than mini-car. The thing is, most computers built in the last two years will now most of an SUV's work at a mini-car price.

If you put aside the gamer community, just how much power does a person need to surf the web, write documents, and slideshow family photos? I know my experience is purely anecdotal, but for years I was always aching to upgrade because computers used to be so darn slow. I don't feel that kind of pressure anymore because computers can now handle non-gaming tasks really well -- even computers that are a few years old. I'm typing this out on G4 powerbook (1.67gh) and I don't feel compelled to replace it. It does everything I need plenty fast (wrist pain put the kaibosh on my gaming some years back). At home, my Athlon XP 2200+ is still all I need for what I do.

Now, if I was a gamer then yeah, I'd be looking to upgrade, but for everyone else who isn't gamining, doing molecular modeling, or rendering video -- just how much better is some quad-core system going to make the experience of browsing the net or writing a document? Back in the day, even people typing a paper wanted faster systems. I'm willing to bet the current speed of computers has reduced the number of people who really need to move up and as a result, we'll see that market filled with very low cost systems.

Re:I doubt it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972571)

This is a Journalistic Misnomer

Moores law is physics /science , One Mans or groups o call inability to meter / measure it has nothing to do with physics/ science of it., but serves only to invalidate his perception of those facts.
  therefore sales of computers of any type can never invalidate Moores law or any law of physics they are totally unrelated .

Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19971895)

Microsoft will always be around dragging those fast components down.

Of course it won't halt moore's law (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971901)

Moore's Law dictates that in 18 months, you should be able to get a significantly more powerful laptop for $100. Even with ridiculously cheap computers out there, there will always be a core that wants power.

Besides, if cost were the biggest issue in computing, than Linux would be the ubiquitous desktop.

Re:Of course it won't halt moore's law (1)

Heftklammerdosierer! (846009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972021)

Or a computer of the same computing power with significantly less power consumption.

Or the same specs, in half the size.

Re:Of course it won't halt moore's law (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972201)

Or all of them and more possibilities which have always been given by Moore's law, and will likely continue to exist.

Re:Of course it won't halt moore's law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972471)

Moores law was about number of transistors in a given space. It was calculated to double ~18-24 months. So the 100 dollar laptop takes 10 chips. In 18-24 months it probably will probably have half that number of chips. That is where the REAL cost savings comes in of moores law. Power and speed were just along for the ride.

Eventually moores law will 'run out' as there will be no more external components to bring into the chip. As that is where they were achiving the cost savings. At about 10-20nm you are talking whole system on a chip with gigs of memory. At about that point it price will sink VERY quickly.

http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/cpu/moore.a rs [arstechnica.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law [wikipedia.org]

Re:Of course it won't halt moore's law (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972491)

Moore's Law dictates that in 18 months, you should be able to get a significantly more powerful laptop for $100.
I think TFA's premise is simultaneously correct and ignorant.

Correct, because the consumer market may shift in that direction.
Ignorant because TFA completely ignores the business market.

There will always be businesses who need the fastest, highest powered hardware available.

Re:Of course it won't halt moore's law (4, Insightful)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972581)

Exactly. What a frickin' retarded argument... since when has the low end of computing actually dragged down the high end?

We may have unprecedented demand for low-power 200 MHz ARM processors these days, but we also have unprecedented demand for quad-core 2 GHz beasts in 1U rack-mount servers, so we can stuff more and more of them into vast underground data centers. Moore's law applies equally to the low end and the high end. Today we can put a powerful computer in a $500 iPhone, maybe tomorrow we can put it in a $50 iWatch. There's absolutely no economic reason for Moore's Law not to continue unabated.

Re:Of course it won't halt moore's law (5, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972703)

Please quote the law properly: http://foldoc.org/?query=Moore's+Law [foldoc.org]

It's every 24 months, not 18, and it has nothing to do with power or speed. CPU speed has increased at significantly higher pace than Moore's law. Moore's law views the number of transistor junctions in an IC, nothing more. The size, power consumption, MIPS, and other values have had significantly different curves, most at higher paces than the law, and not in direct comparison to transistor count. CPU power (in watts) over all is relatively the same as where it started in the 80s, and is currently reducing even as Moore's law increases. http://www.eng.tulane.edu/Tef/Slides/Tulane-Moore' s%20Law%20Sept02.ppt [tulane.edu]

Also, Moore's law clearly states that the number of transistors doubles "as costs remain the same." This means if we can have a $100 laptop today, in 2 years it will still cost $100 (or more accurately the portion of the $100 cost represented by the CPU will be the same), but the CPU will have 2X the number of transistors. It may be faster, maybe not. It may use more or less wattage. This is determined by transistor spacing, impedance layers (SoI, etc), volts, and clock frequency, not Moore's law. The articles premise is simply a logical fallacy.

One more thing: Moore's law does not apply to EVERY processor, only the leading generation vs. the predecessor. There's no reason to believe the notebook will use the current processor generation, and in fact likely it will not. This has no impact at all on the validity of the law as other processors will exist that follow the law. They may simply decide that instead of the build cost for the notebook being $90 to sell at $100, that they'll use previous generation hardware using more modern manufacturing processes, and reduce the build cost to $60-80, and still likely make it faster or better somehow in the process.

Were I a betting man, I'd put money on the $100 laptop not only having a faster chip with more transistors, but that it will use less watts, have a higher resolution display, faster or stronger wireless antenna, more storage, and more ports when we look at it in 2 years. Of course, part of the design of the machine, and it's low cost, is the intent of model line longevity. We don't expect to have a new one of these every 2-4 months like the retail PC industry does. Likely, this will be re-engineered at most once per year.

No... (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971907)

Because there will always be the Alienware [alienware.com] crowd.

Re:No... (1)

yorkrj (658277) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972161)

Mark this day. I think we're actually seeing the slashdot crowd agree about something for once:

Will the availability of ultra cheap computers stiffle Moore's Law?
Answer is... NO!

short and long answer (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971915)

short answer: no
long answer: there are always new developments that require access to superior technology both on a professional/business/university level and further down the line as such things as indie music labels/movie producers, programmers, graphic designers, and for many people in such groups they can afford said technology to further it's development. The burden seems more on the designers of the processors than on the consumers.

No - (1)

DontScotty (978874) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971917)

Cheaper Portables will not change the "Bigger/Faster/Louder" of laptop consumption. The BFL is ingrained into our culture - even if it is as simple as keeping up with The Joneses. The $100.00 laptop, unless it matches or exceeds current functionality will not siphon off demand for portable powerful personal processing.

No, They are NOT (3)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971925)

They'll just become faster at the same price OR the software people want to use simply won't operate. Look at Vista...can you imagine trying to run that on a PII or PIII CPU? You'd want to slit your wrists out of sheer boredom due to having to wait on everything to load.

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:No, They are NOT (1)

pigiron (104729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972099)

I'm running OpenBSD on a 933 mhz P-III and it's very responsive, in addition to being quiet and cheap!

Re:No, They are NOT (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972159)

Look at Vista...can you imagine trying to run that on a PII or PIII CPU? You'd want to slit your wrists out of sheer boredom due to having to wait on everything to load.
I want to slit my wrists when I imagine trying to run Vista regardless of CPU.

Moore's Law Intact (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971937)

Business computing needs will always drive bigger / better / faster computer hardware.

I'm pretty sure Moore's Law will remain intact.

Re:Moore's Law Intact (2, Insightful)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972089)

^_^ If people buy $500 shoes, people will buy overpriced, non-logical hardware. O.o I just try to accept that.

Re:Moore's Law Intact (1)

phaggood (690955) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972233)

> bigger faster

Sort of like how the development of the Honda Civic completely wiped out the Porche, Mustang and Ferrari?

If you got $$, you'll buy speed (or status: i.e. Rolex vs Casio)

Personally, I'm a great fan of review-supported fan fics [fanfiction.net], and a portable reader with a battery that isn't sucked dry so quickly by a back-lit LCD would be a godsend - and don't get me started on how woefully inadequate a WinPC is in a k-8 environment.

Re:Moore's Law Intact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972797)

But in the case of a ferrari, it can do a common everyday task (driving) amazingly fast, in a public setting (so everyone can be jealous).

A bleeding-edge computer *CANNOT* do a common everyday task (word-processing, surfing the internet) faster than a budget computer, nor is it in a public setting. Everyone can spot a ferrari on sight, but even if you took someone to your home and showed them your computer case, would they really be able to tell whether you have a X6850 quad-core, or a celeron inside?

Re:Moore's Law Intact (1)

tech10171968 (955149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972241)

Business computing needs will always drive bigger / better / faster computer hardware...
Somehow I doubt this. Scientific needs and gaming needs will always mandate an insatiable thirst for more computing power but in my experience businesses are loathe to upgrade to more powerful machines simply because they exist. If a business can run the same accounting package on its servers and use the same thin clients for 10 years or more then it wouldn't make economic sense to upgrade any hardware until it really needed to do so. That probably why all these corporations are still running XP and Windows 2K on PIII machines.

Re:Moore's Law Intact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972269)

There were always be business users (programmers, animators, scientific field) that require the latest and greatest hardware. However, the average home user has less and less need for a bleeding-edge computer. Your average home user wants to surf the internet, email, instant-message, do spreadsheets/word processing, stream video, and maybe do some photoshop. All of these applications can be performed just fine on a computer 4+ years old.

Unless you can think of any must-have applications down-the-pipe that are going to require something with a little more power, I guarantee the average home computer is going to trend towards the smaller/cheaper/efficient end of things, as opposed to the faster/expensive/power-hungry side that has been going on for the past 20 years.

Re:Moore's Law Intact (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972759)

Business computing needs will always drive bigger / better / faster computer hardware.

Business computing means running a word processor and a spreadsheet. Once people realise that what you don't need is Windows, then a PII is fine.

Not fast enough yet... (5, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971941)

Personally, until encoding video is as fast as encoding audio is now, I for one welcome faster machines.

Re:Not fast enough yet... (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972355)

Well, actually it is, but only for extremely poor video in comparison to extremely high quality audio.

There will always be a need for faster, more capable machines. We'll want them to do new things, and we'll want them to do old things better. We'll want better-than-HD video uncompressed, delivered instantly, playable by a machine that's busy doing many other complex things at once. We'll want extraordinarily complex data indexing. We'll want lifelike 3D. We'll want artificial intelligence. We'll want complex medical diagnostics. We'll want perfectly accurate voice recognition. We'll want all data, everywhere, immediately searchable. We'll want it to be able to toast bread and look hot in a French maid outfit. :)

We've just hit a point where many of the things people use computers for can be done with acceptably small lag time. The mainstream market hasn't yet caught up to the sorts of tasks that require today's most powerful machines, but come the next Big Thing, it probably will. But there will always be those with a need to push the envelope. And everyone still has an occasional task that takes burdensomely long to complete; we'll want those instantly achievable as well.

Gamers will always make Moore's Law Relevant (1)

anomalous cohort (704239) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971945)

I was talking with our head of IT the other day. He is a serious gamer who just purchased a $500 USD video card. He buys the latest and greatest video card about twice a year (selling his old one on on ebay) and upgrades his motherboard once every two years. He has no plans to stop doing this. Ever.

Re:Gamers will always make Moore's Law Relevant (4, Insightful)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972091)

And we all need suckers like him to buy the latest overpriced, overhyped hardware, so that we can wait a couple of years and buy the next generation for 1/10 the cost.

The "early adopters" get what they want - which is mostly "I want it now!" , and the rest of us get what we want, which is improved hardware cheaper by waiting a bit.

Look at the people who paid $500 for a 15" LCD screen with crap specs, when you can now buy a 20" for $150.00.

Same thing with video cards - they paid $500 for a card with a quarter-gig of ram - those cards are now under $100.00

Let them keep spending - the benefits trickle down to the rest of us because we're patient.

somebody doesn't understand Moore's Law (5, Insightful)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971949)

Moore's Law says nothing about speed. It does say something about the density of transistors on an integrated circuit. How your engineers choose to take advantage of that is up to your business drivers.

Here's a thought - maybe those $100 laptops become cheaper, or more capable over time.

Re:somebody doesn't understand Moore's Law (3, Insightful)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972177)

Moore's Law says nothing about speed.
... and even if it did, it isn't what makes it increase as TFS implies.

Re:somebody doesn't understand Moore's Law (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972523)

Here's a thought - maybe those $100 laptops become cheaper, or more capable over time.
Or both.

...born every minute (1)

M0bius (26596) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971953)

People will continue to buy computers far more powerful than they actually require because salesmen are usually pretty good at convincing people that they need it regardless. Also, PC gaming isn't going to let up and the hardware requirements aren't either. Sleep easy, Moore's Law.

Re:...born every minute (1)

TheJediGeek (903350) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972745)

Consumer trends in computers seem to cycle similar to cars. There's always the ones that want the big expensive power. (gaming machines and SUVs) But the bult seems to go to different trends every so often. About 6 or 7 years ago the consumer PC market was fixated on CHEAP computers. Everyone wanted a new computer as cheap as they could possibly get it. Intel is partly to blame with the focus on clock speed at the time, but that's another topic for another time. It didn't matter if it had a terrible integrated graphics chip with no AGP slot for expansion and was a nightmare to get a PCI video card working in it, or if it was a Celeron with bare minimum RAM in it. If it was cheap, people bought it.

My opinion on consumer perception at the time is that most people didn't know there was a difference in computers apart from the CPU clock speed. They thought that they were all the same. This was also during the time of growth where most people were finally seeing the need for home computers. So, you have people rushing out to get new computers and they wanted them cheap. Now, you have this huge user base that has bought the cheapest computers and is starting to realize that it DOES make a difference in performance. So, more people are spending a little more for the better computers. I believe the trend will come back around to people wanting computers CHEAP again. It will be a cycle.

This is similar to the trend in cars for fuel economy. Every so often everyone wants fuel efficient cars. After awhile the market shifts toward larger cars. Either luxury, sports, or SUV. Eventually it comes back around to economy.

So, the trend has been toward better performing computers in recent years, but I think it will shift back to the cheapest computer the manufacturers can put out. Lather, rinse, repeat.

No. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971961)

Since Vista requires the kind of hardware it does to run *well*, since games are looking better and better every year with Gamebryo, UE3, and so forth, and since the tech industry as a whole still appreciates faster workstations, more memory, etc., there's more than enough of a demand for increasing hardware performance. I don't see that demand going away any time soon.

Honestly, email and web browsing never required much past computers from, say, 1995. Is everyone using 12-year-old computers? No.

Moore's Law is the *enabler* for cheap laptops (5, Insightful)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971963)

Now, I'm not so sure that the writer of the article actually knows what Moore's Law is. It doesn't have to do with CPU speed; it has to do with how many transistors we can cram onto a silicon wafer. And as that compression increases, the same amount of CPU power gets smaller and more energy-efficient.
In other words, we aren't looking at the "end of Moore's Law"... we're looking at that progression being put to use in the way the market wants - that is, making computers cheaper and smaller, since they're already as fast as we need them to be.

Cheap, Fast, and Low Power... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19971965)

Aren't mutually exclusive. I want them all.

And I get a lot of mileage from old hardware for things like my broadband firewall and NFS server, but I have finally given up trying to use anything less than a Pentium II.

Contradictory Summary? (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971971)

The summary states:" 'Moore's law is great for making tech faster, and for making slower, existing tech cheaper,"

And then asks: but when consumers realize their personal lust for faster hardware makes almost zero financial sense, and hurts the environment with greater demands for power, will they start to demand cheaper, more efficient 'third-world' computers that are just as effective?"

So Moore's law is good for going smaller/faster/cheaper, but the demand for s/f/c will spell the end of Moore's law?

No (4, Informative)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971977)

Given that Moore's Law is that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months, no. Even if the gigahertz / number of cores war stops for laptops, there's lots of components that can be put on chip. But apparently it's too much to ask from a rag like CNet to get their basic definitions correct.

More strength (2, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971989)

With OLPC, there will be more computers out there than ever before. Many of these laptops will be used to create wealth, some of which will be used to buy "normal" laptops that are faster. This, in turn, will push the upper end of chip development towards faster and cheaper.

Put another way: There are BAZILLIONS of cheap, ARM-based CPUs out there running everything from microwaves to kiddie toys. Have they put an end to Moore's law?

What actually MIGHT put an end to Moore's law is the actual quantum limits to computation. And we *will* hit those limits if we don't blow ourselves up first. But that's a ways off, and we may find some way past those limits as well. (EG: using other, N-dimensional space or something exotic that we can't even imagine yet)

Re:More strength (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972449)

What actually MIGHT put an end to Moore's law is the actual quantum limits to computation.

At which point, as things are looking, should kick in right about the time quantum computing becomes feasable, and a whole new 50-year cycle of Moore's Law kicks in.

This isn't thermodynamics (4, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971993)

It's not a LAW-law, it was a prediction. It was an observation coupled with smart insight into the nature of the semi-conductor business, and deviations aren't news, the fact that his prediction has so consistently worked over the past decades is the real story.

Will it hold up forever? Probably not, it could speed up or slow down by an order of magnitude as semi-conductor technology is replaced by The Next Big Thing (Optics? Quantum? Duotronics?), and our measurement criteria might have to change with it.

So again, the real story is that Moore's observation has held up so spectacularly so long. Lulls in performance increases are natural. But how does it plot over time?

Re:This isn't thermodynamics (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972239)

You DO realize that all scientific 'laws' are just observations turned into a hypothesis that have withstood the test of time?

From dictionary.com: "A statement describing a relationship observed to be invariable between or among phenomena for all cases in which the specified conditions are met: the law of gravity."

The law of gravity has never yet been broken, but that doesn't mean it won't be. It's the same for Moore's Law.

While I'm sure it was called a 'law' initially as a jest (ala Murphy's law) it has held up amazingly, and is close to deserving the name.

Re:This isn't thermodynamics (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972539)

The law of gravity has never yet been broken, but that doesn't mean it won't be. It's the same for Moore's Law.
I really have nothing to say other than "bollocks".

Re:This isn't thermodynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972567)

Hardly. Moore's law is just an observation that has held up fairly well over the past 20 years. That is all. I could make an observation that "My friend goes to work ~5 days a week" This observation also holds up amazingly accurate over time. That does not make it a "Law", however.

Moores law (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#19971999)

Directly proportional to silicon usage.

Need to get the low energy magnetic memory spintronic processing train moving.

Or photonics.

 

External pressures (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972001)

People may want to buy more ecologically sound, low powered, cheaper machines, but they are subject to external pressures.

Apart from the small percentage of hackers/enthusiasts who play with computers because they like computers, the majority of people use computers to achieve goals - be it to write their work documents, play games, edit photos etc. They will buy the machines that can run the software to do these jobs.

I can't see the big software players reducing the power requirements of their software as it upgrades. Microsoft Office 2015, Photoshop v.27, and World of Warcraft 2015 are going to need more rather than less power and people will be forced to buy more powerful machines.

Re:External pressures (1)

phaggood (690955) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972451)

> Microsoft Office 2015, Photoshop v.27, and World of Warcraft 2015 are going to need more rather than less power and people will be forced to buy more powerful machines.

I hope that 2015 machine is a Chobit [wikipedia.org] - that might make me consider moving back to Windows; tho a Linux-powered persocom would probably be *much* more customizable and probably less frustrating than a Vista-derived one:

P: "We're approaching a crosswalk - halt, continue or ..."
Me: "Uh, well, we need to get across to the... "
P: *BSOD*
Me: Damn - there's no way in hell I can reboot this thing out here in public; I'll get arrested.

Re:External pressures (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972663)

"Microsoft Office 2015"

Do you really believe such a product will even exist? Or that it will do all that much more than Office 97? Software is hitting the same barriers as hardware - a lot of older software is "good enough", just as a lot of open/free software is "good enough." A lot of what were software monopolies are being encroached upon by "good enough", same as hardware.

Vendor lock-in is deteriorating - look at the resistance to 00XML (Microsoft's proprietary format) as opposed to ODF. The browser war is already a lost cause - it can't be used to leverage the Microsoft monopoly any more. Office will have gone the same way some time before 2015. After that, there isn't any really compelling reason to run Windows.

Really, what other lock-ins do they have? DirectX? The Wii is changing the game equation. There's a whole world of games that will never require the "latest and greatest" that will be ported to the PC.

Software and hardware will be fully commoditized within the decade. That's what this article mirrors.

Cheap laptops (2, Informative)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972011)

Fact is.. people are installing Vista on laptops that really shouldn't be running them..

People use their cheap underpowered laptop, get frustrated ..curse Dell and Microsoft. And then go to a nicely performing (but more expensive) Mac.

If laptop makers didn't tempt consumers with their underpowered crap, maybe they would have a decent reputation. I don't see how Moore's law is affected.

Apple is the only computer manufacturer whose low end PC's actually perform tolerably.

Re:Cheap laptops (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972371)

The problem I am sure we all get for having the reputation as Computer Guys people ask us what type of computer should they get. So we tell them, then they will not listen to our advice and get the el-cheapo Celeron, with 4800 RPM Drives, 64 Meg Video but with the 30" Screens. Then we get blamed for not being persuavive enough to make them from choosing a crapy sysem. The problem with Computers is because they are for most people a major purchase so they normally are afraid of the models that cost more then other computers with the same Sticker Price...
How much RAM, How many GHZ is it, CD Drive Speed, Monitor Size, Drive Size.... So they will see a Crappy Dell for $400 and compare it with say a mid range iMac and not know why the Mac Cost 3 times as much. (People don't know the difference between duel Core and one Core they are both 2.1 Ghz, Heck that P4 at 3 GHZ in the discount section looks even faster) But they figure they are getting the better deal but in actually they are getting ripped off compared of getting the system that costs 3 times as much. (because the Crappy system may have a Useful life where they can install new games and such for about 1 year while the higer end model will last 4-5 years)

One time effect? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972025)

So presently, laptops are getting radically cheaper. But these laptops are simply using old components (VIAs, Durons and Celerons??!!??) and building a portable that barely keeps up and is horribly outdated.

Given that as of now, I can configure a fairly decent desktop (comparable to a sub-$800 laptop) for under $400 (including a monitor), the craze for cheap laptops might mean a resurgence in desktops for all we know.

And you can never count out the masses who spend $2000 + on their up-to-date PCs (whether it's laptops or desktops). AMD/Intel are still developing chips that sell for $1000 for a couple of months and then drop to reasonable prices within a year.

Too early to make such predictions without any data on consumer reaction to these cheapo laptops... Especially them gamers'...

Cheers!

Post is a Troll? (1)

yorkrj (658277) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972041)

Troll? Here are a few good counter arguments to the post: (I'm sure you all can think of more.)
1. High performance server/business hardware will still be in demand.
2. Modern operating systems with all the bells and whistles that we're used to will need expensive hardware to run.
3. The trend is for home users to play video and audio which you just can't do (well) on a $100 computer.

Of course not. (2, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972043)

Moore's law is about transistors per area and cost per transistor. Cheap laptops have nothing to do with that.

But for the question that was *meant*, rather than what was asked... still no. There are some applications that can use basically unlimited computing power (and now, unlimited computing power with minimal electrical power), and everyone else benefits from developments geared towards those areas.

Machrone's Law (2, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972059)

Moore's Law as it applies to PCs has its own "law": Machrone's Law [ieee.org]. It's not as strong a "law" as Moore's as it has had to undergo continual adjustment, but there is a definite phenomenon. Also related is the amusing Wirth's Law, also described in that IEEE Spectrum online blurb.

I doubt it (4, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972069)

My cellphone is now more powerful than the first computer I used. It supports up to 1GB of removable storage in about the smallest form factor I've ever seen (micro SD). It's built-in camera is as good as the first digital camera that I owned.

In other words, yes, people may start demanding smaller and more powerful devices - but so what? It just means that instead of speed doubling, power use might start decreasing, storage density might increase, who knows what. We're using computers for purposes I never would have dreamed of when ten years ago. I have a computer under my TV that records shows - I never saw that coming until it did.

Computers will continue to evolve. The laptop and desktop might start to fade out, but new devices will take their place.

Jeesh (2, Informative)

I'll Provide The War (1045190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972107)

"Moore's Law" has nothing to do with performance.

http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/cpu/moore.a rs [arstechnica.com]

Gordon Moore: The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year. Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years.


Instead of placing twice as many transistors on a cpu you can instead place twice as many cpus(a few less for the sticklers) of the same transistor count on a single wafer. Even if consumers no longer care about FLOPS they will still be swayed by lower cost, longer battery life, smaller dimensions and passive/quieter cooling.

A Car Analogy - This IS Slashdot... (1)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972145)

Cheaper, more environmentally friendly cars exist, and do exactly what we need from cars Does this put a roadblock on high performance cars or SUVs? No, because people always want something "better". Also, you make a lot less profit selling a $100 laptop, so I'm pretty sure high end machines will continue to be "necessary".

The "$100 laptop" depends on Moore's law (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972157)

As its ~$175 and its goal it is to reduce price while keeping the same or improved performance with every subsequent revision. Technological improvements are needed to make that happen. While they don't have to be "Moore's Law" improvements (# of transistors per unit area) precisely, they are the same general type of improvements. And, frankly, I don't think the XO and similar systems will reduce the demand for high-end computers. If anything, making basic computers (and experience with them) universally available will probably increase demand for high-end computers.

Currency should factored (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972165)

If clockspeed per ounce of gold per year is measured instead of clockspeed per dollar per year, you still get impressive speed increases.

The problem is dollars are losing half their value every 3 years. A thing measured in dollars is going to become worthless faster than a thing measured in units that don't lose value. If you measure clockspeed vs. ounces of gold, you get a better relation between clockspeed and time than if you use dollars.

Unfortunately Moore wasn't an economist. He didn't understand the value of currency in measuring technological improvements.

Re:Currency should factored (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972443)

Say WHAT? You're telling me that in 3 years, this dollar I'm holding will only buy half as much? And that 3 years ago, it would buy twice as much?

Electronics sure don't follow that.

Food doesn't follow that. (Especially fast food.)

Gas does... But that's a special case.

In fact, let's give up on the specific examples. http://inflationdata.com/inflation/Consumer_Price_ Index/CurrentCPI.asp [inflationdata.com] That shows us that inflation is nowhere NEAR the 15% you claim it is. (3 years, etc etc.)

So yes, measured per dollar per year, unless they account for inflation, clock speed increase is misleading, but not nearly so much as you'd have people believe.

Re:Currency should factored (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972565)

The problem is dollars are losing half their value every 3 years.

If this were true why did my Hyundai Elantra 2001 cost about 100 USD less then my Hyundai Elantra 2005?

Of course (2, Insightful)

wcbarksdale (621327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972189)

In much the same way that Americans have given up their SUVs en masse for tiny European two-seaters.

Moore's Law Expanded (5, Insightful)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972197)

Several comments are stating that Moore's Law is about transistor density not processor speed. This is correct but I feel I should add something very important.

"The number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months"

Weather you keep the original 2 years or drop to 18 months, we're specifically referencing low cost components, which would map directly to the hardware they're trying to put in a $100 laptop.

So in short, no, a cheap laptop just helps to confirm Moore's Law, not derail it.

Re:Moore's Law Expanded (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972475)

Right. It should also be noted that Moore's law can be generalized (without losing too much accuracy) to:

"Technology improves exponentially."

In other words, any given component is going to double in speed/capacity/coolness, and/or halve in size/price.
So, yeah, the $100 laptop is a confirmation, not an exception.

NO! See desktop precident (2, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972281)

25 years ago I had a $100 desktop computer: a Sinclair ZX80.
That did not pose a roadblock for Moore's Law re: desktops, so why would it be the same for something comparable a quarter-century later?
All the price does is establish a bare useful^D^D^Dable minimum; Moore's Law just means that 25 years from now you'll be able to do on a $100 laptop then what you really want to do on it today - which still won't be useful then.

I mean, come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19972285)

This isn't an issue... not even a little.

Let's look at another market for contrast... Cell phones:
Here (in the US) I cannot buy 'just' a cell phone. It's a calendar/camera/mp3/FM radio etc. These types of phone are available in other 'poor' countries. Hell, in the US everyone is buying $600 iphones.

So when it comes to laptops are people really going to buy a crank powered, small BW screen that slowly runs apps? Nope, I'm buying that 19" 2500x1600 32-bit Centrino-X2-Core4-Athlon 9Ghz 8GB RAM with Firewire 400,800,1200/USB/USB2/USB Wireless/802.11ABGNXYZ that can play WOW at 200 FPS...

Besides, when you give a customer 3 options, then tend to pick the middle. I'm not going to buy the cheap ($100~300) laptop, but not the expensive one ($2000+), I'm buying the middle one.

Obey gravity... it's the law. (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972287)

Moores law being about transistors aside, I see prices as having reached a relative plateau, where we will see the same prices with just faster, greener, smaller computers. There will always be exception, but tech pushes some hardware off the market before it's time, other hardware items can't keep up, it averages out.

ridiculous discussion... (1)

Jorgandar (450573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972329)

Shouldn't we be talking about something that matters rather than debating an imaginary law? the whole discussion is fruitless...

(im not a troll. mod me -1 goblin)

no (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972339)

If you can get a full computer for $100, you can probably get a 16 or 32 core computer for around $1000. So, no, I don't think this is going to stop Moore's law.

Furthermore, there's always the gamers...

I somehow doubt it (2, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972353)

Maybe, partially. Cheap hardware won't put an end to Moore's Law; Moore's Law is what's made cheap hardware possible in the first place. If Moore's Law continues unabated, cheap hardware will merely become more capable or even cheaper. If Moore's Law hits a funadamental limit, it will stop of course, unless some workaround can be found. If we ever get to a point where we feel like we have "enough" power, we won't care whether Moore's Law continues, and so R&D budget will probably shift into other areas besides processing speed performance. I think that Moore's Law becomes a lot less important if we can stop software bloat from taking away nearly all the gains that Moore's Law yields.

I honestly don't think Moore's Law will go away (1)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972357)

It's not really the consumer market that drives new hardware development. I mean, yes, we would all like to believe that in some way, our own geeky little world has a greater impact than Step number 5: Profit but it doesn't. Look at the latest and greatest technology out there. It is insanely fast but also insanely expensive and often, financially out of reach of the average consumer.

So who buys that new hardware? Well, no one specifically buys individual processors or memory chips or graphics cards or what have you. Alot of the new technology gets integrated into large scale computer systems at giant corporations that have IT budgets the rival most 3rd world GDP's. They can afford the technology and often times, they are working with cutting edge equipment because the computing demands they have are much greater than that of your average gamer.

Another place that faster, bigger, badder technology gets employed is by the companies that make those large scale computer systems. Many companies now are getting into the clustered server and blade server markets and driving technology there. Then there are the companies offering specific solutions like Sun Microsystems that build their own hardware to a certain extend and they are driving development also. Everybody jokes about Beowulf clusters, mainframes and so on. You know what though? At several hundred grand for a Beowulf cluster with only 250 nodes but technology out the wazoo, there is a market driven aspect there that dwarfs what Joe Blow in his basement LAN-party server has. Many companies are utilizing these new, managed and multi-threaded ideas to make mainframes that are faster and more capable than anyone could have imagined back in the days of Big Blue and WANG.

Yeah, a $100 laptop is not going kill Moore's Law, it's going to fuel the fire behind it. The laptops may be barely adequate but they will fuel progress in those 3rd world countries. It won't be long before someone figures out how cluster a pile of those laptops and build themselves a pretty bad-ass computer system.

No, they aren't (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972389)

(As others have said, Moore's Law has nothing to do with processor power)

Cheap laptops are leveraging advancement in computer technology in reverse. Think of it this way: A fast, high-end computer costs about $2000. A fast, high-end computer five years ago also cost about $2000.

So figure the new computer is 10x faster than the old one (I pulled that out of my ass). The idea is that something equivalent to the five year old machine can be built, today, for 10% of the cost of a new one using modern tech.

I wonder how much of a study... (2, Interesting)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972405)

I would bet that, outside of the enterprise/gaming groups, tech 'upgrades' only happen because generally speaking with computers, only the latest and greatest are available.

I can't tell you the number of people I know who have purchased entirely new computers because they've become glutted with spyware, viruses, or have experienced a relatively simple hardware failure like an HDD spin-out or a dead RAM stick. Instead of dropping money on a replacement part and possibly installation services, they just buy a new computer.

And that comes with good reason too. Look at places like Dell. A $499 desktop isn't too bad at all. And I can promise that system will do everything that 85% of computer users will use it for. Most people don't play hardcore games. Most people don't use applications more processor intensive than productivity suites. Heck, for most people, the computer will be used only for email, Web, watching streaming video and maybe ripping their own CDs to put them on the iDevice of choice.

But that's the rub. At Best Buy or Dell or any of the retailers, even on their cheapest PCs, you're getting a pretty damn fast machine. You can't get an older/slower/cheaper desktop unless you're willing to buy old parts on Ebay and piece something together yourself.

For the big retailers, they can't even afford to keep the old hardware in stock, as storing it costs more than the retail value of the computer.

It really doesn't cost that much more to get a better computer with the current pricing structure. I wonder what would happen if all-of-a-sudden people could get a $150 laptop capable of Web, word processing, basic networking and email?

Remember how wildly successful Wal Mart was with the $35 DVD player a bunch of years back? It worked because it was so cheap that people either didn't demand top quality, or realized that they didn't need the $1,000 Sony 5-disc DVD changer with DTS surround and optical outputs.

Looking for low power consumption (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972419)

My motherboard blew up this past weekend when I lost the voltage regulator on it. I am looking for another new motherboard and found it is next to impossible to find a new SocketA motherboard anymore. Ok, fine. The technology is outdated and it's time to move on. I have a problem with the fact that if I want to add a new video card to a Socket 775 motherboard, the power requirements go up dramaticaly.

Anybody out there know of a good motherboard and processor package that I can plug my 2 ATA133 drives into (don't want to migrate my data or spend money on SATA yet)and still get away with only using a 350 watt power supply?

Consumers (3, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972429)

The $100 laptop is not geared toward anyone that is reading slashdot. It is for poor countries, or even poor inner city areas, with people that have no access to computers or the internet. Demand for cutting edge speed and technology won't subside at all. Not to mention, even the poor kids in third world countries will outgrow their $100 laptop in a month anyway and will want the coolest gadget out there... FUD. Pure FUD.

Where have you gone Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972431)

We need to know what happens when computers pass the $100 event horizon.

Actually we have some evidence of what might happen from the PDA market. Equivalents to the first or second generation Palms should exist at well under the $50 mark, but they don't. Instead, PDAs have become more complex in an effort to keep most of them up at $200 mark, with the Palm Zire holding out as an overpriced bargain at $99.

This is what I think is behind convergence. Convergence isn't really all that wonderful, but the marginal costs of adding PDA functions to a phone becomes negligible, the justification to drop $200 or more on a separate PDA isn't there. If the Zire was $50 and could dial your phone using bluetooth, then convergence wouldn't be such a hot thing.

The interesting difference will be that the only difference between a $100 laptop and a PDA is form factor. A laptop cannot be glommed onto a different product ... or could it? Maybe the human interfaces become disposable and ubiquitous to our music players, which are storage and multimedia display devices? Is it far fetched to see the laptop keyboard, case and display becoming an iPhone accessory?

Suggested amendment to Moor's Law (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972461)

"The number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months"

"Except where the added performance will have no impact on the usage"

For situations where the end user REALLY wants or needs the speed, like PC gamers, dedicated game consoles, science, engineering and other applications where the increase in speed will have an impact. I think Moore will continue to apply for the processors used in those systems.

However, in situations where the added speed will have no real impact on the application then I think people will want cheap functional systems.

We are already at the point where the biggest bottle neck to working with a computer is how fast the end user can get the data entered, a faster system won't make you type any faster, or read any quicker. What most common end users want is a system that will let them browse the web, send/read email, IM their friends, view the media (images,.mpeg, mp3,documents) that they get in the emails and play some card games or suduku. My mom has celeron 400Mz based system that she is quite happy with, it does everything she wants it to do and its the same stuff all her friends do with their computers. A faster internet connection, not a faster computer, would have a bigger impact on her computing experience.

People are irrational (1)

DeepZenPill (585656) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972499)

If people generally aren't concerned about the fuel efficiency of their cars, which leads to significant expenses, why would they suddenly be concerned about the energy efficiency of their computers when electricity is relatively cheap?

Re:People are irrational (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972729)

"If people generally aren't concerned about the fuel efficiency of their cars, which leads to significant expenses, why would they suddenly be concerned about the energy efficiency of their computers when electricity is relatively cheap?"

Because attitudes are changing, slowly but its picking up speed.

Ask a Prius owner what they love about their car. One of the first things out of their mouths will be "it gets great gas mileage"

People are beginning to want value for their money because they have less (maybe real or just how they feel) of it to spend.

On the Misuse of Terms (2, Insightful)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972517)

As many posters have so commented, it is clear that the use of the term Moore's Law was not appropriate. What the article seems to be attempting to purport was that the drive for low-end, inexpensive hardware is going to have a negative effect on the high-end market, and therefor lead to a decline in innovation and technological progression.

The former clause above may be true, but that is still up for debate. As stated, there still exists a very thriving market in the enterprise, media production, and gaming areas for high-end PCs.

The latter derivation is silly to the point of rediculousness. The technology and computer industries will always innovate. Low-end hardware will inovate along with it as the industry must flex to fit whatever the consumer demands.

In the end, if consumers finally realize that they do not NEED a $1000 system to accomplish day-to-day work with their PC, reasonable hardware at low prices will become more ubiquitous, power consumption will fall, better computers will become available for lower income families, and the market will continue to thrive as it responds to this new demand.

Thread-Bare Quality & Performance (1)

warren_spencer_1977 (1124617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972563)

I suspect the $100 computer is the beginning of the "long tail". Zillions will be sold, but little profit can be milked from each sale. Such a market will attract those companies that can squeeze quality and performance down to the barest of thread-bare acceptability.

perhaps (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972687)

You know, if we made the C=64 today it would probably cost bout 3.50 and retail for about 10 bucks. I remember when they were over 300 USD. Why don't modern PCs cost 10 bucks? Because we keep demanding more and more out of them. People will want more out of their laptops. This is going to require faster processors.

Sure, there are still guys pounding away on an old C=64 because it's what works for them. Notice that there aren't too many of them tho.

Faster, cheaper, better. Pick two. (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972713)

Faster, cheaper, better. Pick two. If you are lucky.

As one example among many:

From typical office-application user experience, today's computers are 3-4x cheaper than in 1987, a whole lot better in that they do things like real-time spell-checking and print high-resolution color on your desktop, but not a whole lot "faster" for things like boot-up, word processing, and other office productivity applications.

Some things have gotten faster, better and cheaper. Single-form page-size black-and-white printing for example. In 1987, a typical laser printer was slow, costs well over $500, did 300x300dpi, and the small memory limited the complexity of the documents. Now you can get a mid-range printer for well under $400 that has plenty of memory and prints far faster than anything 20 years old.

Don't run Windows & don't flame me (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972741)

It sounds trite but any 10 year old PC worth $100 today will run but it wont run Windows, at least not a current version.

And, in ensuing 10 years, that old clunky desktop could EASILY be miniaturized down to a laptop size or smaller. Doesn't anyone remember that the Timex Sinclair digital watch had more compute power than early System 360 mainframes, the Apollo onboard computers etc etc???

Maybe I'm an extreme case but until a few years ago I had an old IBM PC750 desktop I had upgraded all the way up to a whopping 114MB RAM and an Evergreen Pentium (1)400. I still have a P-3 450 with 324MB RAM supporting my digital scanner and drawing tablet on Win95 and yes I had an even older (circa 1991) DX4-100 32MB RAM, 2x540MB Disk, ISA mobo minitower running Win95 for a specialised app as well. I junked it oh maybe 6 years ago?

My work machine is an 'old' Thinkpad t40 with a Centrino 1.5Ghz, 512MB RAM and an 80GB drive. How much is this machine worth? $300?

The point is, bloat costs a LOT of money. Even Redmond estimates that Vista will obsolete more than 85% of the PC's out there. To do what, exactly? The OLPC project relies on compact software to fit on a small machine and Marvell Xscale class processors are specifically designed to take advantage of embedded OS's like the OLPC. So all the pieces are there - all we need do is leverage a lightweight OS and Applications model to exploit it.

I can remember (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972799)

stuffing AST SixPacks with 64k dram and using a hex editor and prom burner to change the head and cylinder setting for 10mb hard drives. Let me just say that yes maybe but I'm not sure :-)I mean we were doing that to sell machines and because software was growing into Everyone likes bright shinny objects and newer computers are just one example. That being said if a new shinny computer was cheap but did everything I needed to do then I may by it.

Do I need a nice fancy car when a little econo box will go the same legal speeds and moderate comfort? No but I want one! And just like that many people base their choices on the levels of availability, why have the skim if you can find a way to afford the cream?

Also the gaming industry and other software drive up the need for more power, even your Office suites need much more power today then even just a few years ago. So I think there will always be people wanting more power, needing more power and there will be people satisfied with low end.

Journalism ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#19972807)

Moore's Law is the empirical observation made in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months. (from Wikipedia)

Since 1965, the tech world has obsessed about keeping pace with Moore's Law -- an empirical observation that computing performance will double every 24 months. (TFA)

So how will one want to even consider what the scribbling concludes?

Besides, the Bugatti Veyron [wikipedia.org] was developed in face of speed limits almost everywhere.

CC.
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