laudon_ch04_lt3 - 1 Chapter IT 4 Infrastructure: Hardware...

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Technology Drivers of Infrastructure Evolution The changes in IT infrastructure we have just described have resulted from developments in computer processing, memory chips, storage devices, telecommunications and net- working hardware and software, and software design that have exponentially increased computing power while exponentially reducing costs. Let’s look at the most important developments. MOORE’S LAW AND MICROPROCESSING POWER In 1965, Gordon Moore, the director of Fairchild Semiconductor’s Research and Development Laboratories, an early manufacturer of integrated circuits, wrote in Elect- ronics magazine that since the first microprocessor chip was introduced in 1959, the number of components on a chip with the smallest manufacturer costs per component (generally transistors) had doubled each year. This assertion became the foundation of Moore’s Law. Moore later reduced the rate of growth to a doubling every two years (Tuomi, 2002). This law would later be interpreted in multiple ways. There are at least three varia- tions of Moore’s Law, none of which Moore ever stated: (1) the power of microproces- sors doubles every 18 months (Tuomi, 2002); (2) computing power doubles every 18 months; and (3) the price of computing falls by half every 18 months. Figure 4-3 illustrates the relationship between number of transistors on a micro- processor and millions of instructions per second (MIPS), a common measure of proces- sor power. Figure 4-4 shows the exponential decline in the cost of transistors and rise in computing power. There is reason to believe the exponential growth in the number of transistors and the power of processors coupled with an exponential decline in computing costs will con- Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software 1 LEARNING TRACK 3: TECHNOLOGY DRIVERS OF IT INFRASTRUCTURE EVOLUTION FIGURE 4-3 Moore’s Law and microprocessor performance. Packing more transistors into a tiny microprocessor has expo- nentially increased processing power. Source: © 2004 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.
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tinue into the future. Chip manufacturers continue to miniaturize components. Intel has recently changed its manufacturing process from 0.13-micron component size (a micron is a millionth of a meter), introduced in 2002, to a newer 90-nanometer process in 2004 (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter). With a size of about 50 nanometers, today’s tran- sistors should no longer be compared to the size of a human hair but rather to the size of a virus, the smallest form of organic life. By using nanotechnology, Intel believes it can shrink the size of transistors down to the width of several atoms. Nanotechnology uses individual atoms and molecules to cre- ate computer chips and other devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technologies permit. IBM and other research labs have created transistors from nan- otubes and other electrical devices (IBM, 2004) and have developed a manufacturing
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2012 for the course FINANCE 780 taught by Professor Scott during the Spring '12 term at Missouri State University-Springfield.

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laudon_ch04_lt3 - 1 Chapter IT 4 Infrastructure: Hardware...

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