Some 45 years ago, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, published a paper predicting that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double each year. This would later be revised to every 18 months and became known as Moore's Law, which while technically incorrect, has also been used to predict the doubling of CPU performance in the same time frame. According to Nvidia, Moore's Law is no more.
"Moore's paper also contained another prediction that has received far less attention over the years," Bill Daily, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at Nvidia wrote in Forbes. "He projected that the amount of energy consumed by each unit of computing would decrease as the number of transistors increased. This enabled computing performance to scale up while the electrical power consumed remained constant. This power scaling, in addition to transistor scaling, is needed to scale CPU performance.
But in development that's been largely overlooked, this power scaling has ended. And as a result, the CPU scaling predicted by Moore's Law is now dead."
Daily went on to say that CPU performance no longer doubles every 18 months, claiming this "poses a grave threat" to the industries that have traditionally relied on the growth in processor performance. According to Daily, a fundamental change in our approach to computing is needed, and multi-core processing is not the answer. Not surprisingly, he sees GPUs as the key.
"Parallel computers, such as graphics processing units, or GPUs, enable continued scaling of computing performance in today's energy-constrained environment," Daily argues. "Every three years we can increase the number of transistors (and cores) by a factor of four."
Read all of what Daily had to say here, and then hit the jump and tell us if you think the future of computing lies in the GPU.