Throughout history, efforts to improve technology have all had similar goals – namely to enable tasks to be completed faster and with greater efficiency than ever before.
When the internet first came to be, one could begin the login process, go out to run a few errands, and come back only to hear that dial-up modem still working to make a connection. Once you were online, websites looked like what today would be equated to archaic paintings on a cave wall.
But, we've come a long way since then. Where we are today is in no small part due to the power of networking chips. They are essentially the fuel that powers the internet engine. In 1965, Intel's Gordon Moore made a prediction, which has since become known as Moore's Law, that the number of transistors in networking chips will double every two years. Nearly half a century later, that law remains unbroken.
A recent VentureBeat article discusses Moore's Law and Andy Bechtolsheim's assertion that it will continue to prove accurate in the coming decades. Bechtolsheim, founder, chairman and chief development officer at Arista Networks, predicted that networking chip performance will increase by 1,000 times in the next 20 years.
"Architecture matters. Having a faster internal engine makes a car run faster. That’s also true for a chip," writes Dean Takahashi, author of the article, about Bechtolsheim's reasoning. "With better design at the component level, the overall chip and system run better. This requires rethinking approaches that worked in the past for a more modern technology. Keeping the data flowing within the chip is critical."
At the same time networking and other computer chips are rapidly improving, there is an increased focus on making them smaller. As a result, the demand for innovative thermal management technologies is rising and must keep pace with the consumer electronics industry.
Creating better chips that will actually find their way into real-world products ultimately comes down to our ability to handle the increase in power and the thermal management of electronics.