Ed Jordan’s dissertation research looked at the future of computing. He was inspired by the thought that Gordon’s law (Moore’s law) of computing — 18 months to double speed (and halve price) — was about to break down because of the limitations of silicon chips as the go below the 14 manometer level. Since Intel lives and dies based on the silicon chip, his research was really a story into the future. When will the old chip die, and what will be the next technology?
Hall & Jordon discuss the application of this disruptive technology in their DoD procurement planning article in the Refractive Thinker related to the use of Integrated Product Teams.
His research showed that the death of the silicon chip computer would come sooner, not later. And that several options appeared likely including quantum computing. Scientists have just made a huge breakthrough toward Quantum Computing: see the WSJ article about it here, as published in the journal Nature.
In the meantime, Intel’s approach for decades of hardware one year and software (for the new hardware) the next has broken down. The so-called Tic-Toc of Intel is now outa time. It seems to be more like 2 years (4 years, really) in the clock cycle.
So, will Intel die with the new technologies? Obviously Intel can simply invent the disruptive technologies internally, or buy it up wherever the viable invention wells up.
Debnath, S., Linke, N. M., Figgatt, C., Landsman, K. A., Wright, K., & Monroe, C. (2016). Demonstration of a small programmable quantum computer with atomic qubits. Nature, 536(7614), 63–66. doi:10.1038/nature18648
Jordan, Edgar A. (2010). The semiconductor industry and emerging technologies: A study using a modified Delphi Method. (Doctoral Dissertation). Available from ProQuest dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3442759)
Jordan, E. A., & Hall, E. B. (2016). Group decision making and Integrated Product Teams: An alternative approach using Delphi. In C. A. Lentz (Ed.), The refractive thinker: Vol. 10. Effective business strategies for the defense sector. (pp. 1-20) Las Vegas, NV: The Refractive Thinker® Press. ISBN #: 978-0-9840054-5-1. Retrieved from: http://refractivethinker.com/chapters/rt-vol-x-ch-1-defense-sector-procurement-planning-a-delphi-augmented-approach-to-group-decision-making/
The Tic-Toc of Intel continues to be something to watch. In 2014 the move to 14nm on chips was a big thing for Intel. See here: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/silicon-innovations/standards-14nm-explained-video.html
The move beyond that has been slow, and slower. Stacking technologies and other improvements seems to help, but going below 12nm seems like it is going to be very, very hard. Let’s see how this all develops.