Is Moore’s Law Slowing Down, and Is it Good News or Bad?
How old is your laptop? Have you noticed that having a three-year-old laptop today isn’t as bad as having a three-year-old laptop was 10 or 12 years ago? What you’re seeing is a slowdown in Moore’s Law, and it’s going to have some interesting ramifications all across the tech industry.
If you’re not familiar with Moore’s Law, it was posited by Intel CEO Gordon Moore in a paper he wrote in 1965. He predicted that computer processing power would double every two years, and he projected this growth to continue for at least the next decade. For the most part, his prediction proved to be accurate, although what he forecasted for one decade has actually lasted for over four. His idea has been so pervasive that the tech industry at large has been using his prediction to successfully guide their strategic planning for many years.
But here we are, in a place where that rate of innovation is slowing down. The causes of this slowdown are fairly technical, but to simplify it, we’ve come to a point where processors just can’t get any smaller. Until we make some dramatic changes in architecture and power consumption, that two-year cycle is going to be stretching to three years or beyond.
Does that mean that you’ll be keeping your cell phone for the next 15 years or that you’ll pass your desktop computer down to your children in your will? You’re welcome to do those things if that’s what you want, but we don’t think that will be necessary.
Innovation is always happening. We may have reached a point where making processors smaller has become unfeasible, but that just means that there are other places to improve. So much energy has been focused on the problem of providing greater processing power on smaller and smaller chips that very little effort has gone into other areas like processing efficiency, power consumption, and various architectural issues that can bring on the next wave of innovation. “We already ate all the low-hanging fruit,” says Tom Wong, director of marketing and design IP at Cadence. New innovations will happen, but they’ll need to happen in new areas unrelated to processing power.
As a customer of CDR Global, it might be easy to think that we’re looking at lean times ahead, or that perhaps you should put off a system upgrade. While we can’t tell you when it’s the perfect time for you to invest in new equipment, we can tell you that the ITAD industry isn’t going anywhere.
Processing speed may not be changing as quickly as it had in the past, but in the near future we’re looking at a web if interconnected smart devices (aka the “Internet of Things” or IoT), and a 5G network that will provide communication speeds like we’ve never seen before. As these developments play out, there will be ways for you to take advantage of these new systems. On our end, we have a number of options that will still let you realize the value for your devices while we find ways to either put those pieces back into service somewhere else or let them donate their key components to the next generation of hardware.
Talk to one of our ITAD specialists at CDR Global and we’ll give you an idea of what the future of the tech landscape looks like. We can help you develop a plan for dealing with obsolete or unused hardware, and we can even work together to forecast the ITAD market so you can decide on the best time to make an investment in new IT equipment.