Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Moore's Law: Friend or Foe to Consumers?

Filed under
Misc

Only time will tell whether there are more legs in Moore's law, or whether the chip-level innovation that has spurred on the computer industry for the past few decades is about to hit an insurmountable hurdle.

A more pertinent question for consumers and small businesses is whether the cycle of hardware and software upgrades and rapid redundancy that has characterized the desktop computing industry since its birth has served them as well as it could have.

Every two years, it seems, the power of microprocessors doubles and the time it takes to boot a pc and fire up a word processor quadruples.

It seems inevitable that more and more computer power is needed to update now bloated operating systems while ensuring they are backwardly compatible and can run existing applications while fending off new and unforeseen security threats.

But Microsoft executives concede they could write their software to run more efficiently on lower spec hardware, at the price of the software development process taking more time.

Intel, though perhaps least to blame, has like software vendors and PC manufacturers benefited from the cycle of redundancy which currently means the average PC is replaced -- usually in its entirety -- after just four years. It looks like a conspiracy, but because Moore's Law is assumed, there's really no need to conspire.

Some businesses have found solace by switching to thin client computing, but that is less of an option for consumers.

Many of them are about to get caught in the same upgrade trap when it comes to their bandwidth requirements. Today, for many people who don't want to download movies or music online, a 56k connection to the Net may suffice -- as evidenced by the fact that despite the now widespread availability of moderately priced broadband and endless cajoling there are still relatively few takers among households.

But not for long. As broadband becomes more dominant over time, Web designers and online advertisers will increasingly take it for granted that consumers have the added bandwidth and will build more and larger objects into Web pages, probably programmed with increasing inefficiency.

An ISP's homepage in two years time will probably take the same time to download on a 512 Kbps connection that it does today on dial-up and broadband, as currently defined, will be a necessity for all.

Top of mind for many consumers may be how to ensure they avoid buying into a future where their network-connected TVs, smartphones and DVDs -- as well as their PCs -- also have to be replaced every four years. Intel may need to be careful about appearing too Moore-ish if it wants to be welcomed by consumers throughout their homes.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Graphics

  • LibRetro's Vulkan PlayStation PSX Renderer Released
    A few days back I wrote about a Vulkan renderer for a PlayStation emulator being worked on and now the code to that Vulkan renderer is publicly available. For those wanting to relive some PlayStation One games this week or just looking for a new test case for Vulkan drivers, the Vulkan renderer for the LibRetro Beetle/Mednafen PSX emulator is now available, months after the LibRetro folks made a Vulkan renderer for the Nintendo 64 emulator.
  • Etnaviv DRM Updates Submitted For Linux 4.10
    The Etnaviv DRM-Next pull request is not nearly as exciting as MSM getting Adreno 500 series support, a lot of Intel changes, or the numerous AMDGPU changes, but it's not bad either for a community-driven, reverse-engineered DRM driver for the Vivante graphics cores.
  • Mesa 12.0.4 Being Prepped For Ubuntu 16.10/16.04
    Ubuntu is preparing Mesa 12.0.4 for Ubuntu Xenial and Yakkety users. It's not as great as Mesa 13, but at least there are some important fixes back-ported. Mesa 12.0.4 is exciting for dozens of bug fixes, including the work to offer better RadeonSI performance. But with Mesa 12.0.4 you don't have the RADV Vulkan driver, OpenGL 4.5, or the other exciting Mesa 13 work.

Games for GNU/Linux

Mageia 5.1 Released, Tumbleweed's Latest, Most Secure

The Mageia project today announced the release of stopgap version 5.1, an updated "respin" of 5.0 and all updates. The Daily Dot posted their picks for the most sure operating systems and the Hectic Geek is "quite pleased" with Fedora 25. Matthew Garrett chimed in on Ubuntu unofficial images and Dedoimedo reviewed Fedora-based Chapeau 24. Read more

SparkyLinux 4.5 is out

There is an update of SparkyLinux 4.5 “Tyche” available now. As before, Sparky “Home” editions provide fully featured operating system based on Debian ‘testing’ with desktops of your choice: LXDE, LXQt, KDE, MATE and Xfce. Read more