Nvidia CEO: Moore’s Law is Dead

Jensen Huang, boss of chipmaker Nvidia, does not expect the prices of GPUs to fall much. The reason for this is partly due to the new architecture used for chips.

 

Huang sees this during an analyst conversation following the chipmaker’s fourth fiscal quarter and the launch of the RTX 4090 GPU. There, the CEO says that he expects a good quarter for gaming chips with the new generation of ‘Ada Lovelace’ architecture, named after the 19th-century mathematician.

However, those cards are not cheap. The mentioned RTC 4090 costs about $1,600. Cheaper models go for $900. A few models have yet to be launched later this quarter, but these are generally 7% more expensive than comparable chips in previous years.

‘A 12-inch silicon wafer is much more expensive today than yesterday. And not a little more expensive, but a lot more expensive,’ says Huang. And he adds, “Moore’s Law is dead. So the possibility of the law to deliver twice the performance at the same cost after a year and a half, or the same performance at half the price, is over. It’s completely gone and with it, the idea that the price of a chip will go down over time.’

Whether or not Moore’s Law is terminal has been debated for some time, and it depends on your definition of that law. The principle was stated fifty years ago by Gordon Moore, stating that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years. Ideally, this would also increase our computer systems’ speed and computing power, while the prices for those chips go down.

However, we are now at a point where it will be very difficult to go even smaller. Add to that a lot of geopolitical and logistical problems, and you notice that Huang’s statement, at least on an economic level, is not completely out of the blue.

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