When Moore's Law Gives Way to May's Law

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Doug Eadline over at Linux World has written an interesting post on the concept of May’s Law, a frustrating corollary to the more famous Moore’s Law of semiconductor growth:

David May states his law as follows, “Software efficiency halves every 18 months, compensating for Moore’s Law.” Think about it. Every new generation of hardware introduces some new form of hardware optimization. Usually these optimizations can be handled by the compiler, which have become quite complex. Compilers hit a wall with parallel computing. When more cores started showing up, due to Moore’s law and some laws of physics, writing software got more complex. When GP-GPUs started showing up, programming became much more difficult (i.e. it takes more work to get your problem to run efficiently on the new hardware).

Eadline contends that future large scale HPC applications will need to include dynamic fault-tolerant runtime systems that insulate the user from system complexity. Read the Full Story.


  1. […] problems associated with such a vision: namely, the software can’t cut it yet (hat tip to Inside HPC). Eadline writes about May’s Law, the corollary to Moore’s Law, which says the number of […]