It has been nearly 3 months since I joined TSMC. As with anyone joining a new company, I have been drinking from a firehose of information and data. One of the key topics that I first dug into was Moore's Law, which simplified states: The number of transistors in an integrated device or chip doubles about every 2 years.
Moore's Law is actually misnamed as a law as it more accurate to describe it as a guideline of historical observation and future prediction of the number of transistors in a semiconductor device or chip. These observations and predictions have largely held true for the past several decades. As we approach a new decade, some appear to share an opinion that Moore's Law is dead.
It would appear that some have conflated Moore's Law to mean that the performance of a chip, given the same area, doubles every 2 years. For many years, particularly in the development of CPUs and GPUs, this appeared to hold true. From the 1970s to early 2000's, there was an explosive increase of transistor clock speed going from single megahertz to multiple gigahertz, respectively. However, since the 2000's, compute performance has largely increased not through the improvement of the transistor clock speed but rather through both silicon architecture innovation and the threading or parallelization of computing workloads. Companies that have developed CPUs and GPUs have responded to this software parallelization with further architecture innovations and by adding more compute cores. The more compute cores, the more threads a chip can handle offering higher overall performance.
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