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Wright's Law is More Accurate Than Moore's Law

By - Source: IEEE | B 45 comments

The famous Moore's Law, derived from a 1965 paper published by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, may not be the most accurate model to predict the scaling of technology and technology development.

Researchers at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) found that a much older similar prediction model is more accurate than Moore's Law.

In 1936, Theodore Wright authored a paper entitled "Factors affecting the costs of airplanes," which examines inflation-adjusted unit prices and the decrease of technology over time. Instead of Moore's prediction that the transistor count in a certain space doubles every 18 to 24 months, Wright's prediction is based on the emergence of volume production and can be translated to state that the cost of transistors is halved every 1.4 years. In conclusion, Wright's Law is slightly more accurate as a predictive tool than Moore's Law. The researchers also looked at Goddard's Law (drop in price due to greater productivity), Nardhaus’ Synthesis (combines elements of Moore's Law and Wright's Law) as well as Sinclair, Klepper and Cohen’s Synthesis (combines Wright's Law and Goddard's Law), but none of them was as accurate as both Wright's Law and Moore's Law.

Wright's Law has never been a popular way to describe the progress of technology, but since we know about the challenge of maintaining Moore's Law (that nature laws will more than likely trump Moore's Law), Wright's Law could become more valuable over time. One could question the value of those predictions and even Intel occasionally hinted that the doubling of transistor counts may not be as critical anymore in the future as new features and abilities take the spotlight. Still, Wright's Law could give the technology industry another guideline to hang on when new products are announced.

 

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    cmcghee358 , September 3, 2012 10:34 PM
    TomfreakI only know a LAW, I buy a desktop every time mine get slow.


    Are you sure you're on the Wright website?
  • 26 Hide
    bit_user , September 3, 2012 10:48 PM
    Moore's Law is also often misquoted.
  • 26 Hide
    egilbe , September 3, 2012 10:52 PM
    Moore's law was an observation after 5 years of founding and working in the industry. It isn't a prediction
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    devBunny , September 3, 2012 10:16 PM
    Wright you are, guv'nor.
  • 21 Hide
    tomfreak , September 3, 2012 10:19 PM
    I only know a LAW, I buy a desktop every time mine get slow.
  • 20 Hide
    Camikazi , September 3, 2012 10:25 PM
    So, Wright is more right than Moore! Dunno why I found that so funny.
  • 0 Hide
    greghome , September 3, 2012 10:33 PM
    Godwin's law anyone?
  • 26 Hide
    cmcghee358 , September 3, 2012 10:34 PM
    TomfreakI only know a LAW, I buy a desktop every time mine get slow.


    Are you sure you're on the Wright website?
  • 26 Hide
    bit_user , September 3, 2012 10:48 PM
    Moore's Law is also often misquoted.
  • 20 Hide
    blazorthon , September 3, 2012 10:50 PM
    bit_userMoore's Law is also often misquoted.


    That happens far too often.
  • 26 Hide
    egilbe , September 3, 2012 10:52 PM
    Moore's law was an observation after 5 years of founding and working in the industry. It isn't a prediction
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 3, 2012 11:12 PM
    we need a 4d, 48 state, fullprogrammible cache micro processor, does memory have an effect on these laws?
  • 0 Hide
    aoneone , September 3, 2012 11:48 PM
    What ever happened to Jan Hendrik Schon who debunked Moore's Law?
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2012 12:00 AM
    Public flogging for all reporters who misquote Moore's law! followed by a little time in the stockade.
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2012 12:03 AM
    what did people getting serious about Moore's Law anyway.
  • 14 Hide
    coder543 , September 4, 2012 12:04 AM
    Why do we need Moore laws? This is the Wright one!

    /too many puns
  • 3 Hide
    blakwidowrsa , September 4, 2012 12:04 AM
    I guess we will have to wait for quantum chips... if they eventually get it right.
  • 6 Hide
    CaedenV , September 4, 2012 12:09 AM
    lets keep in mind that 'moore's law' is not a law in that is was (in his own words) and 'off handed comment'.

    Also, a 'law' that merely describes 'nature' (assuming it is nature and not just a self-imposed schedule) is not particularly valuable. a law or theory that explains such a schedule would be extremely useful and valuable.
  • 3 Hide
    jdog2pt0 , September 4, 2012 12:40 AM
    Getting a good laugh at all the puns
  • 3 Hide
    photonboy , September 4, 2012 12:59 AM
    First of all MOORE'S LAW was modified several years after the first version.

    Secondly, what's the point of looking around in RETROSPECT for a "law" that provides the best prediction?

    The best form of prediction is to use SEVERAL different forms of analysis for both the short and long term.
  • 7 Hide
    ant32 , September 4, 2012 1:08 AM
    Wright: "That's it, no Moore laws!"
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2012 1:09 AM
    Moore's law is coming to an end. Unless you're a rabid Intel fanboy, at which point you may believe that it will literally continue forever. The gains going from 32nm to 22nm were meager at best, if they even get to 14nm, it may in fact be worse instead of better in all performance metrics, and may not even be economically viable, unless you're willing to pay $500 for a CPU that's slower that today's $200 CPUs and uses more power.

    2.5d chip stacking on 22nm or 28nm will likely prove superior to 14nm transistors, unless you're self-esteem is directly tied to the process technology used on your CPU. Even then, that's not going to do much unless software can utilize 64 CPU cores stacked on top of each other, because thermal and electrical constraints aren't going away... That leaves GPU compute as the final frontier.
  • 2 Hide
    uglynerdman , September 4, 2012 1:22 AM
    WHAT ABOUT THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE?! well most of us wouldnt want that to happen cuz then amd would get eaten.
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