Hal Varian: Moore’s Law is also a coordination device

I heard Hal Varian say this at Berkeley a few months before he left it as a comment here:

But here’s another angle on Moore’s Law: it is to some degree a coordination device. A computer system involves CPU, memory, disk, display, etc., and all the components have to improve at the rate to avoid a bottleneck. The system is only as powerful as its weakest link. If the semiconductor industry tries to double the performance every 2 years, then the disk, RAM, screens, etc can design to that benchmark. By this view, Moore’s law could be 2 years, or 3 years, or whatever —- what matters is the common expectation for component parts manufacture.

via The Technium: Was Moore’s Law Inevitable?.

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