Gearbox CEO and Microsoft’s Xbox CEO’s twitter spat over Moore’s Law

Gearbox CEO and Microsoft’s Xbox CEO’s twitter spat over Moore’s Law

Gearbox CEO and Microsoft’s Xbox CEO’s twitter spat over Moore’s Law

Gearbox software company Randy Pitchford‘s CEO and chairman and all-rounder, with Xbox at Microsoft entered into a Twitter dispute over the concept, nature and current application of Moore’s Law.

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Initially, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, referring to the analysis article of the account of Digital Foundry on the website EuroGamer About Gaming Console Xbox Series X, about the effect of slowing down Moore’s Law on software innovations such as Variable Rate Shading and the importance of these innovations in the next generation of products tweeted. He tweeted:

DF [Digital Foundry account on the EuroGamer website] did a great job. As Moore’s Law slows down, our ambitions grow and lead to design innovation. Software innovations such as VRS [variable rate shading] will also be a critical trend [in response to the slowing of Moore’s Law]. Xbox Series X rewrites the rules of console design, and [its] power should be incredible.

While Phil Spencer’s tweet was quite influential, Randy Pitchford immediately decided to give a speech on how Moore’s Law works. He tweeted:

Is Moore’s Law slowing down? How many transistors are in the Series X [console]? What if Moore’s Law was like two endurances of one mile in four minutes? Your ambitious message might inspire Xbox One X; But about Series X, it feels more like an excuse.

The problem when trying to talk about Moore’s Law is that it’s not just an established hypothesis; Rather, it was actually compiled by one of the founders of Intel, Gordon Moore, in 1965. He predicted that the density of transistors at the same level would double every year. Later, he changed this period to two years. In 2015, the then CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich, acknowledged that the rate of doubling of transistor density has slowed and that the said law is valid for a period of two and a half years. For decades, Moore’s Law had been merged with a different original called Dennard’s Traversal. This principle predicted that as transistors get smaller, they consume less voltage; Therefore, they will have higher clock speed and lower power consumption. Moore’s law is the foundation of Dennard’s principle, and people have referred to Moore’s law by abandoning Dennard’s principle, making transistors faster, smaller, and cheaper.

Unfortunately, Pitchford decided to publish a diagram that doesn’t even prove his point. , heat up the discussion again:

first As it is clear in the diagram, the rate of increase in the density of transistors gradually decreased and compared to the rate of increase in the density of these devices per unit area in the early history. It is necessary to mention this point, the mentioned diagram only takes into account the number of transistors. Now what happens if we include other elements in the graph that are often considered to be part of Moore’s Law?

The data shown in the graph above shows that Moore’s Law is definitely slowing down and the factors that were used to increase performance are no longer effective. Furthermore, while the transistor density is still increasing, the growth rate of processor clock speeds has stalled and single-threaded performance in processors is slowly increasing. Intel has been able to increase the clock frequency of some 14nm flagship processors up to 5 GHz; But the current processors of the mentioned company with 10 nm lithography have much lower clock speeds. AMD’s 7nm processors, although they are faster than the previous generation processors of this company, still do not achieve significant clock speeds. The clock speed component of Moore’s Law, often borrowed from Dennard’s principle, is gone. The increase in the density of transistors continues; But increasing the performance of transistors has become so difficult that it is no longer profitable for companies. The main reason that led AMD to use chiplets was that the miniaturization of processors in many ways has more negative effects than positive effects.

It’s impossible for companies to stop talking about Moore’s Law. In fact, Moore’s Law is a good way to summarize the concept that computers get better over time, and the general public is familiar enough with this law and should have a full understanding of this concept. Intel and AMD have turned to ideas and technologies that have not been used before. For example, AMD has used chiplets and Intel is working on its own die-by-die interfaces; But now we are talking about things that were not used before to reduce the lithography of chips. The feature Spencer mentions, variable-rate shading, is likely to be critical to Xbox’s future productivity; But at the same time, part of the answer is that we need new approaches because old technologies are obsolete.

The Xbox Series X console is expected to have significant improvements in performance compared to the Xbox One X console; But speculations are that the biggest change will be related to the processor and storage space of the product. Using an octa-core processor from the Ryzen series instead of custom Jaguar cores will result in a significant increase in processing power. The use of very high-speed SSDs instead of HDDs also promises further improvements in storage space, which can lead to changes in the design of games. The graphics processor will also make changes; But the improvements applied to the processor and storage space seem to be bolder.

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