SAN FRANCISCO -- Just how fast will microprocessor speeds improve in the future?
Try 25-MHz per day, predicted Pat Gelsinger, chief technology officer at Intel Corp. "Moore's Law is alive and well," Gelsinger said. "There is no end in sight," he said during a keynote address at Intel Developer Forum.
Devised by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, "Moore's Law" is a popular axiom that says the transistor count of a processor will double every 18 months.
Meanwhile, a long-time Intel executive, Gelsinger was the key architect for the company's 486 microprocessor in the late 1980s. In 1989, Intel rolled out its first 486 chip, which was a 25-MHz device, and three years later, it bumped the frequency up to 50-MHz.
"I was proud of 25-MHz," he said. "But now, we are adding 25-MHz a week. One day, we will add 25-MHz a day."
Now, Intel's fastest processor is a 42-million transistor device that runs at 2.2-GHz and based on 0.13-micron technology. By 2010, the industry will have 30-GHz processors, based on 0.02-micron technology, Gelsinger predicted.