Mitigating the effects of a declining Moore’s Law will no doubt take many forms. We’re all wondering what the next disruptive technology will be to make the worries moot. In the meantime, one approach to dealing with a stalled Moore’s Law is floated in a recent Rambus Blog, ‘Moore’s Law in the FaaS Lane’ – that’s right feature as a service.
Certainly it’s not an entirely new idea. Recall in the1990s that the Intel 486DX/SX versions were essentially the same die but with the math co-processor disabled on some versions of the 486SX. A similar approach could be taken now in the System on a Chip (SoC) world. Many different functions could be onchip and activated as needed.
The blog notes, “Perhaps not surprisingly, the semiconductor industry is already navigating uncharted waters as the potential slowing of Moore’s Law looms in the distance. To be sure, the industry has entered a period of rising development costs, lower margins and rapid consolidation…the semiconductor industry is currently experiencing significant change. Consequently, fresh models of enablement will be needed to help reignite innovation across the market.”
A shift to FaaS won’t solve Moore’s Law but might provide a greater variety of functions on a given platform without requiring a dizzying array of chips. Rambus believes FaaS will “open up a wide range of new usage models for semiconductor companies, including the generation of additional revenue streams in multiple diverse markets.”
FaaS is now supported by Rambus CryptoManager, alongside SoC management and device personalization capabilities. We’ll see. Below is a diagram of the chip-to-cloud solutions.