Geeks Have Been Spoiled By Moore's Law
Photo: Gordon Moore, one of Intel’s founders

Bill Gates is concerned that our expectation for technology innovation and evolution is getting too high. At the Techonomy conference, Gates says that we’ve been spoiled by advances in chip performance every year, where either performance doubles or prices halves per annum according to Moore’s Law, but such rapid rates of improvements cannot be applied to every area and sector of technology. Gates says “Exponential improvement–that is rare.”

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Gates notes that there are areas of technology that do benefit from Moore’s Law, “We see it in hard disk storage, fiber capacity, gene-sequencing rates, biological databases, improvements in modeling software. There are some things where exponential improvement is there.”

However, there are many more areas of technology that will not benefit from the exponential rate of improvements under Moore’s Laws. One such area is energy. “They haven’t improved hardly at all,” Gates said. “There are deep physical limits. I am funding five battery start-ups and there are probably 50 out there. (But) that is a very tough problem. It may not be solvable in any sort of economic way.”

Filed in Computers..