Darwin vs Moore: A Battle of Evolutionary Theory

Evolution happens.  In matters of nature, Charles Darwin is clearly the dominant expert and the Theory of Evolution has stood the test of time and much scrutiny by scientific experts for decades.  However, the pace of innovation and change that happens in nature is insufficient as a means to evolve technology.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution is a slow gradual process. Darwin wrote, "…Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps”

Personally, I’m very happy that the Theory of Evolution does not govern the pace of innovation for computing.  In matters of technology evolution, Gordon Moore is the expert.  In 1965, Dr Moore observed a trend in silicon manufacturing that has subsequently driven the pace of innovation, revolutionalized an industry and quite possibly society.  Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on a chip will double about every two years.  Read more about Moore’s Law

In March 2009, Intel introduced the Nehalem microarchitecture where the innovative use of these transistors is truly phenomenal.  Besides offering nearly double the performance for many 2 socket server applications since last year, these processors offer a FIVE - fold improvement in energy efficiency versus the first generation of intel xeon quad-core processors introduced only two years ago.


Ă°       5x lower idle processor power (10W vs 50W)

Ă°       5x the number of power states between full power and idle power operation

Ă°       5x faster transitions (lower latency) between these power states

Today, Intel’s Boyd Davis discussed the innovations coming soon for the expandable 4-socket and larger servers, codenamed Nehalem-EX processor.  For this segment of the server market the bandwidth gains are expected to be staggering - offering up to 9x the memory in bandwidth over the highly scalable six-core xeon 7400 based servers available today.  Learn more about Nehalem EX

The question for IT managers and business leaders is how fast are you evolving your compute infrastructure capability.  Older single-core processor infrastructure is consuming valuable resources (space, power/cooling, maintenance) while often running underutilized and consuming full power.  Replacing that infrastructure can deliver dramatic benefits in performance and operational efficiency.  The savings from server replacement can provide a rapid payback on investment – stimulating re-investment or improved business results.

The faster you move … the more competitive you can become.  Just like in nature, business is survival of the fittest.  How fit is your IT infrastructure? 

Take advantage of Moore’s Law – Evolve Faster.