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本文摘要:As the legend goes, in 1964 Dr. Gordon Moore, then at Fairchild Semiconductor, was preparing a paper for Electronics magazine on the evolution of semiconductor memory chips. He decided to plot the capacity of those chips, versus their year of introduction, on some graph paper. There were only a half-dozen or so data points, as memory chips at that point were less than five years old and only contained a few hundred transistors each.据传,在1964年,当时还在飞兆半导体公司(Fairchild Semiconductor)工作的戈登o摩尔博士正在为《电子学》(Electronics)杂志打算一篇有关半导体存储芯片演化史的论文。


As the legend goes, in 1964 Dr. Gordon Moore, then at Fairchild Semiconductor, was preparing a paper for Electronics magazine on the evolution of semiconductor memory chips. He decided to plot the capacity of those chips, versus their year of introduction, on some graph paper. There were only a half-dozen or so data points, as memory chips at that point were less than five years old and only contained a few hundred transistors each.据传,在1964年,当时还在飞兆半导体公司(Fairchild Semiconductor)工作的戈登o摩尔博士正在为《电子学》(Electronics)杂志打算一篇有关半导体存储芯片演化史的论文。他要求把半导体存储芯片的容量和它们的生产年份用座标图标释出来。当时这张图上只有五六个数据点,因为半导体芯片刚问世五年,每张芯片上只有几百个晶体管。

Connecting the dots, Moore noticed a familiar parabolic curve – shallow at the beginning and then quickly turning upwards. Unfortunately, that curve also quickly went straight off the top of the page. So Moore switched to logarithmic paper – that is, with one side in powers of ten — and, stunningly, the memory chips tracked along a straight, nearly horizontal line. Moore, one of the most brilliant individuals in Silicon Valley history (and future Intel INTC -2.74% co-founder), not only knew what this said, but more important, what it meant.将所有的数据点连一起之后,摩尔找到,这条曲线一开始的南北较为陡峭,然后很快大幅度上升。惜那条曲线最后跑出了草纸的顶部。于是摩尔又所画了一张对数座标图,这次他惊讶地找到,将一条座标用10的N次方来计数之后,存储芯片的发展趋势呈圆形一条完全水平的直线。作为硅谷历史上最聪明的人之一【也是未来英特尔公司(Intel)的联合创始人】,摩尔不仅明白了这张图说明了什么,更加最重要的是明白了它意味著什么。

What it said was that semiconductor memory was progressing at a pace never before seen in any product in human history – and if that pace could be maintained the generational leaps would soon be gigantic. This trajectory – at first defined as the doubling of the performance of semiconductor chips every couple years – became known as Moore’s Law.首先,这张座标图解释,半导体存储芯片的发展速度,是人类在任何产品上都未曾见过的——如果这种速度需要之后维持下去,迅速就不会再次发生根本性的代际横跨。后来这根趋势图被总结为“摩尔定律”,即半导体存储芯片的性能,每一两年就不会翻一番。But what Moore’s Law meant was that for the first time, perhaps in any industry anywhere, there was now a map into the future. You could track that line decades out into the future – and know exactly what memory chips would be like on any date. And that meant you could plan for that date, and you could build for it. It was a magic key to competitive success.但是摩尔定律背后的重大意义在于,我们首次有了一张通向未来的路线图。



Moore’s Law quickly spread from memory to logic chips and then to the rest of the semiconductor industry – and quickly made the chip business the fastest growing industry. And soon, the most valuable.摩尔定律迅速从存储芯片扩展到了逻辑芯片,然后又渗透到了半导体行业的其它领域,而且迅速使芯片行业沦为快速增长最慢的一个行业,同时也是最不具价值的一个行业。What no one, not even Moore himself, saw coming was that, by the 1980s and 1990s, with tens of billions of chips out in the world, Moore’s Law would break out of electronics and into the rest of the economy. From automotive to infrastructure to genetic research to telephony – companies, laboratories and government agencies discovered that if they could find any way to hook up to Moore’s Law they too could experience exponential growth. One result was the great transformational technology of our time, the Internet.但是当时,还包括摩尔本人在内,所有人都没预测到,到了八十年代和九十年代之递的时候,全球的芯片数量数以百亿计,摩尔定律早已具备了冲向电子行业,转入国民经济其它领域的能力。

从汽车到基础建设,从基因研究到电话业务——各大企业、实验室和政府机构找到,只要他们有能力与摩尔定律挂勾,就能构建指数级快速增长。其中的一个结果就是我们这个时代的根本性革新技术——互联网。In writing my new book on the history of Intel Corporation, The Intel Trinity, I became convinced that we have made a serious mistake being so comfortable with that shallow line. And that mistake begins with Gordon Moore’s change of graph paper. That’s because behind the gently sloping straight line there still lies that dizzying parabolic curve. It is this reality that has been largely forgotten over the last few decades.在编写关于英特尔公司历史的新书《英特尔三杰》(The Intel Trinity)的过程中,我认识到我们罪了一个相当严重的错误,那就是过分坚信摩尔划入的这条光滑曲线。


而过去几十年的大部分时间里,我们都忘记了这个事实。What lies in that steep arc? Like all parabolic curve, it begins deceptively flat: for the first 40 years, Moore’s Law is a gentle grade. Yet under that comparatively flat curve can be found the minicomputer, the microprocessor, the digital calculator, computer gaming, the personal computer, the Internet, robotics, wireless telephony, the smart phone and electronic commerce – in other words, our world has been utterly transformed by just the shallowest section of this curve.那么,那条平缓的曲线到底隐蔽着什么?像所有抛物线一样,它一开始也表明出有具有迷惑性的陡峭趋势。

在头40年里,摩尔定律还正处于较为保守的水平。这条比较陡峭的曲线在微型计算机、微处理器、数码计算器、电脑游戏、个人电脑、互联网、机器人、无线电话、智能手机和电子商务等领域的发展过程中都能看获得。换句话说,光是这条曲线最陡峭的部分,就早已将我们居住于的世界几乎改建了。But then, about 2005, roughly the time the newest chips reached 1 billion transistors on their little squares of silicon, everything changed. Suddenly the great accumulating leaps caused by the biannual doubling of Moore’s Law began to turn the curve nearly straight up, heading toward infinity – and tens of billions of transistors on each chip. In other words, Moore’s Law is now jumping the tech world forward each year more than the sum of all that has been accomplished since the birth of Silicon Valley.但到了2005年的时候,也就是约到了每块指甲大的新型芯片可以构建多达10亿个晶体管的时候,一切都逆了。


摩尔定律带给的常态的累积,使这条曲线急剧经常出现了完全横向的快速增长,方向是正无穷,也就是每块芯片构建几千亿个晶体管。换句话说,摩尔定律为科技界带给了跳跃式发展,每年的发展速度都多达了自从硅谷问世以来所有年头的总和。We already have glimmerings. Look at the rise of ‘exponential’ corporations like Facebook FB – the first service product in human history to reach 1 billion regular users – and Twitter TWTR -1.50% . Look as well at the usage curves of the smartphone, the smart tablet, and the Cloud, the last of which essentially makes memory infinite, ubiquitous and free. All of these earthshaking new products and technologies have exploded on the scene in the last 8 years.我们早已隐约地意识到了这一点。


所有这些政治宣传式的新产品和新技术,都是在过去短短8年之内井喷出来的。What’s waiting in the wings? The full promise of Big Data – and the end of the 500-year age of sampling and statistics. Soon we’ll be tracking every one of our heartbeats, every fish in the sea and every gust of wind – and we will learn more about the natural world in a few decades than we have in human history. As a billion devices around the world begin to talk with each other, we will also soon be just a minor part of the “The Internet of Things,” which may be a thousand times greater than the human-oriented Internet we currently know.下一步有什么在等着我们?首先是大数据以及早已享有500年历史的取样统计学的潜力将被充份挖出。迅速我们将有能力监测我们的每一次跳动,跟踪海里的每一条鱼,地球上的每一阵风。

未来几十年里,我们对自然界的理解,将多达人类有史以来的总和。随着全球几十亿台设备构建了交流网络,我们迅速也将沦为所谓“物联网”的一分子,而物联网的贡献,有可能要比以人为核心的“互联网”大1000倍。Further up the curve lies the nanotech revolution. Mobile health and medicine, too. Go up even further and every function of body will be measured every second of our lifetime, and nano-hunter-sensors will swim in our blood helping to hunt down cancer and other diseases.摩尔定律的另一个潜在的应用领域是纳米技术革命,此外还有移动身体健康和医学等领域。未来人体的每一项功能、每一秒钟的人体指标都会被动态监测,纳米级的“猎人”传感器将游弋在我们的血液中,替我们杀掉癌细胞或其它疾病。


Up the curve the line between animation and reality also begins to disappear, and modeling – from new products to new worlds to new lives – become a major part of our daily existence. And it will all start with virtual sex, because in tech it always starts with sex.沿着摩尔定律的曲线,未来动漫和现实之间的界限也不会慢慢消失。建模作为一项技术也将沦为我们日常生活中的最重要部分,无论是产品、我们眼中的世界甚至是我们的生活都可以展开建模。它有可能首先不会从虚拟性爱人开始,因为科技的发展总是首先从性开始。

And then? If you believe Ray Kurzweil, the line goes vertical, we map our brains into computers and live forever. If you believe Malcolm Gladwell, then the curve will eventually taper off.然后呢?如果你坚信雷o库茨维尔的论点,摩尔曲线不会呈圆形横向发展态势,我们的大脑可以被扫瞄入电脑,然后在虚拟世界总有一天地活下去。如果你坚信马尔科姆o格拉威德尔的应验,那么这条曲线最后不会递增以后消失。But neither scenario may arrive for decades. That means that as long as Intel and other chip companies can sustain Moore’s Law we may live within the Great Inflection for the rest of our lives. And, given the announcement recently by Intel and IBM IBM 0.07%无论哪种情形,都要等到几十年后才不会再次发生。


of a revolutionary new type of transistor technology for chips, the odds of that occurring look better than ever.虽然硅谷还没有准备好庆贺这种新的发展速度。但不管你否早已准备好了,未来都在马不停蹄地来临……而且速度比以往任何时候更加慢。