Do none of you understand how any of this works?
The reason that CPUs and GPUs are drawing more and more energy for apparently less performance is a simple function of physics.
Even until a few years ago, a node shrink generally meant that transistor density would double (180nm to 90nm to 45nm / 28nm to 14nm to 7nm) which implied that the same chip would occupy only a quarter of the physical size after a shrink. That gave you a fuckton of room to add more transistors for more functionality and performance.
But that's no longer possible because node sizes aren't halving anymore, they're dropping by a nanometer or two at a time because we're reaching the literal physical limits of what silicon can do (end of Moore's law). So die area isn't as easily available, hence die sizes have to increase.
Then there's the unavoidable consequence of smaller and smaller nodes - less physical space between the individual transistors. Which leads to electromigration and crucially, current leakage. Which means that not only do you need more energy input to overcome that leakage, you need to dedicate more of your die to current-monitoring and -controlling transistors. Again, that means you have less die area for transistors to increase functionality and performance.
And because consumers don't care about any of the above and demand more functionality and performance generation-on-generation, the problem is going to continue to get worse until the semiconductor industry transitions to a successor to silicon.
No it's not.
Hmmm... I'm with you on a lot of this. Been quietly wondering where the train is going for years. Short of major breakthroughs in our understanding of applying physics and materials, the bend can only continue to drive tighter.
Maybe we shouldn't be buying GPUs every year or two to begin with though. From a consumer standpoint, I personally don't mind if there isn't something 'lastest and greatest' constantly. Can't buy it all anyway. But I do wonder what happens to all of these industries dependent on excruciatingly fast product cycles with just slightly better stuff in them each time. It's always been kind of nuts to me how many microchips we churn out just to toss in a few years. But I never saw how releasing products this way could be sustainable. It's a lot of waste, and people spend a lot of their finite financial resources on it. It doesn't seem necessary to reap the benefits of technology. To me, that's more marketing that makes people feel like they always need more, and on the other end are games promising more and more, utilizing the extra headroom. Pretty much every year, there will be some new upgrade to tempt your wallet.
That's the thing.... the pace of actual performance advancements slowed, right? But the products didn't. They came out at the same rate as always, with smaller gains, and prices that really only got higher year after year, like most other things. The more logical and (I think) fairer way is to hold a higher standard for what's considered a real gain, develop products for as long as that takes. Less waste, better products, less oversaturation in the markets and product stacks... possibly better delineation between them too. The thing is, it's impossible under the current economic model. No tech business could survive as it does today, if it was waiting until it had serious gains for each new product. Nobody is footing the bill on added operational costs. We are talking about entire industries that are almost predicated breakneck advancement... that can plan for a decade's worth of new shit, a whole roadmap of relatively small incremental improvements. What happens when we can no longer do that with the knowledge and tools that we have? What does stagnating development in silicon transistor tech look like when it reaches its final stage? People have their pet materials, but those are more challenging to work with than silicon. Those challenges could reap huge dividends in the end, but they could also just ensure that it's all ridiculously expensive for a long time. Just getting one of them to replace silicon will be expensive for everyone.
Something kind of has to give there though. Somewhere, somehow.
I kind of wonder how many things about how we operate will change in my life. I don't really see technology, or especially stuff in the realm of consumer technology ever being like it was before.