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Exponential Challenges, Exponential Rewards – The Future of Moore’s Law

Shekhar Borkar


Three exponentials have been the foundation of today’s electronics, which are often taken for granted–namely transistor density, performance, and energy. Moore’s Law captures the impact of these exponentials. Exponentially increasing transistor integration capacity, and exponentially increasing transistor performance, allowed us to realize complex architectures, delivering exponentially increasing performance. And exponentially decreasing energy per logic operation kept power dissipation within reasonable limits, making Moore’s Law a reality. To keep this treadmill going, we will face exponentially increasing challenges, such as active and leakage power, variability, and design efficiency. These challenges, once addressed, will undoubtedly yield exponential rewards, as we have enjoyed in the past.

This talk will discuss potential solutions in all disciplines, such as microarchitecture, circuits, design technologies & methodologies, thermals, and power delivery. At ISSCC 2003, Gordon Moore showed that for every ant in the world today there are 100 transistors; our job is to grow that transistor number to 10,000. We’d like to see 100 times more transistors in the world for electronics and computing power by the end of the decade, and there is no reason we can’t succeed.


Shekhar Borkar graduated with MS in Physics from University of Bombay, MSEE from University of Notre Dame in 1981, and joined Intel Corporation. He worked on the 8051 family of microcontrollers, and iWarp multicomputer project, and subsequently on Intel’s supercomputers. He is an Intel Fellow and director of Circuit Research. His research interests are high performance and low power digital circuits, and high-speed signaling. Shekhar is an adjunct faculty member at Oregon Graduate Institute, and teaches VLSI design.

Shekhar Borkar Headshot
Shekhar Borkar
Intel Corporation
EEB 105
21 Oct 2004, 12:00am until 12:00am