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Move Over Moore's Law, Make Way For Huang's Law (ieee.org) 55

Tekla Perry writes: Are graphics processors a law unto themselves? Nvidia's Jensen Huang says a 25-times speedup over five years is evidence that they are. He calls this the 'supercharged law,' and says it's time to start counting advances on multiple fronts, including architecture, interconnects, memory technology, and algorithms, not just circuits on a chip.
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Move Over Moore's Law, Make Way For Huang's Law

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  • I didn't realize Moore's Law was about circuits on a chip. Can you please explain? I didn't read the article but they must be talking about "AI" processing.
    • by imgod2u ( 812837 ) on Monday April 02, 2018 @02:24PM (#56367893) Homepage

      Moore's Law: the density of devices (transistors) that can be packed into a microchip doubles roughly every 18 months.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2018 @02:32PM (#56367927)

        Or phrased more colloquially, if partially inaccurately:

        Moore's Law: every 18 months, the speed of hardware doubles.
        Gates' Law: every 18 months, the speed of software halves.

      • Interesting. Thanks for the info.
      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        Moore's Law: the density of devices (transistors) that can be packed into a microchip doubles roughly every 18 months.

        It is not actually the density of transistors but the number of transistors for a given cost. This can be accomplished by density increases but also by ICs which are larger in area. It is often done at the expense of transistor performance.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Moore's Law is an economic one, not a strictly a technological one. Although, keeping it going depends on semiconductor processes getting finer.

      The costs per nanoacre more-or-less follow a predictable curve relative to how bleeding-edge a process is required to fabricate a chip. If you need a really old process, availability will be low, so demand will push the costs up. If you're using the latest, availability is low and yields will initially be low, so the costs are way up. Everything in-between is pr

  • Bitcoin's Law. It's all about hashes per second and still a pointless metric!

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by methano ( 519830 ) on Monday April 02, 2018 @02:22PM (#56367885)
    I think the attractive aspect of Moore's law was that it was simple and everyone got the general gist. Some people like to argue about the details but they mostly don't have anything else to do with their time.

    I don't think we need a Huang's law. If you asks what Huang's Law is, everyone will just say it's like Moore's law except applied to GPU's.

    Same applies to all those other people who want to name things after themselves.
    • Why not both? I like the take on Huang's law. It's essentially the measure of performance that leverages all hardware/software advances that go into a single product, bench-marked over time. It's not a replacement, just offers a different, useful, perspective.

    • I think the attractive aspect of Moore's law was that it was simple and everyone got the general gist. Some people like to argue about the details but they mostly don't have anything else to do with their time.

      I don't think we need a Huang's law. If you asks what Huang's Law is, everyone will just say it's like Moore's law except applied to GPU's.

      Same applies to all those other people who want to name things after themselves.

      True. The generalized Moore's law is that everything in computers were improving at exponential rates just with different doubling rates.

      And since Moore's law is based on his last name, wouldn't it be Jensen's Law if they really wanted to make a counter law?

  • we kind of have (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday April 02, 2018 @02:23PM (#56367889)
    >> t's time to start counting advances on multiple fronts

    Hobbiests have for a while, ever since last-generation AMD stumbled and Intel slowed down the processor speed increases for a while. Now that Ryzen is out, graphics chips are ruling desktops, and no one cares about Intel in the mobile space, we're finally seeing progress get back toward Moore's Law's long-term trend line.
  • I thought Moore's comments had to do with the impact of transistor counts on cost. Huang seems to be talking about increased performance without reference to cost. I'm not a gamer, but isn't there a lot of squawking about GPU costs? I wasn't at the talk, so maybe Huang addressed that as well. [Maybe he also assumed people would do the cost vs performance calculation in their heads.]
    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      Lol, if you're going to put it like that then there's been barely any improvement what-so-ever for gamers at the median price point.

    • It's used that way and in many more ways that are more general or adjacent to the original coined definition, but no, it's merely about how many transistors you fit. That's partially why Ray Kurzweil started using the term "law of accelerating returns". Yes, GPU prices are stupid high right now, but this has less to do with changes in the R&D of GPU's and more to do with the fact that the price of bitcoins can double faster than the number of foundries/fabricators dedicated to making GPU's or cryptocur
  • Moore's Law exclusively talked about transistor count. Speed aside:
    GTX 770 in 2013 : 3.5bn transistors.
    GTX 1070 in 2017: 7.2bn transistors
    Moore's law is dead, but not because you defeated it, but because you failed to live up to it just like the CPU vendors did.

    We have been counting advances on multiple fronts since the Intel Core architecture debuted 12 years ago, but welcome to the 21st century Jensen Huang.

  • by Visarga ( 1071662 ) on Monday April 02, 2018 @02:57PM (#56368111)
    Let's not call any and all predictions laws. They're not laws. They are functions fit on a short stretch of data that have no predictive power in the future. Not even experts can predict the future, a "law" has no chance here.
  • Sounds like wang.
  • Shouldn't we be calling them BPU's now?
    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      The appropriate term now is GPGPU.

      • While GPGPU's are marketed for graphics, at some point, there will hit a law of diminishing returns. There's even talk of them blowing past all raster and into ray tracing; thought I'm not sure if and when that would be feasible. However, certainly easier to program for. Also, given their use in physics and other forms of computing, wouldn't it make more sense to call them GPSPU's (Genera-Purpose Specialized Processing Units)? Or would that acronym be reserved for FPGA's?

        • by darkain ( 749283 )

          Well, first, the transition to ray tracing started in March already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
          Also, GPGPU stands for "General-purpose computing on graphics processing units": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

          There are countless demos showing realtime ray tracing, usually showing off what ray tracing does well, like reflection and refraction.

          However, in practice, it doesn't do much that rasterization can't do better with the same budget. And raytracing doesn't solve the problem of global illumination, which is what most people are working on right now.

          Actually, modern engines use a wide variety of techniques depending on what needs to be displayed, some of them close to ray tracing. It is much too early for gene

  • So Quantum computers are roughly following Moore's Law in their power. Are we going to rename that to the Q's Law.?

  • The word "law" in this context is taken from science to describe an effect that always holds true. After watching Moore's Law break down, could we please name this new related observation for graphics cards something more accurate and realistic? How about Huang's Principle or Huang's Observation?
    • My AI cannot parse what you have suggested properly. Why? Because it doesn't have Jensen Huang's new 640 AI-Petaflop-Supercomputer-Zommmgg-UberMensch Tensooooor cores yet.... (Runs out and desperately looks for a shop that sells Nvidia Volta GPUs)
    • Huang's Kind of Matches A Couple Years of Data

  • by pgn674 ( 995941 ) on Monday April 02, 2018 @04:31PM (#56368875) Homepage
    While Moore's Law is a doubling in density every 18 months, this 25 times speedup in 5 years is achieved via a doubling every 13 months.
  • The cost of the fab plants has also been growing exponentially. It hasn't been doubling every 18 months and we (consumers) haven't noticed because the cost of the fabs has been spread out over more chips being made. Unfortunately more and more manufacturers are now fabless. Meaning the actual manufacturing is more concentrated. However the bigger thing we should worry about is the end of exponential grow of chip demand. When that happens it won't just be an engineering problem to pack more transistors
  • The DGX-2 which is 500x faster than 2 GTX 580s is also 500 times more expensive!
    https://www.nextplatform.com/2... [nextplatform.com]

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