HARDWARE: The number of transistors on an integrated circuits doubles every 18 MONTHS.
Moore's law is often used to refer to the following:
SPEED: The speed of computers due to hardware doubles every 18 MONTHS.
There are other versions as well. I've heard that some versions of it are no longer working (it couldn't go on forever). But what about the gains made NOT by hardware? Is there a Moore's Law of Code Optimization?
There is! Its called Proebstring's law
SPEED: The speed of computers due to code opt doubles every 18 YEARS.
The paper pointed to gives evidence for this law.
So is Code Opt worth it? I've heard the following:
1) Some of the Code Opts eventually go into the hardware, so its not quite fair to say that Code Opts improve speed that slowly.
2) Any improvement is worth having.
3) Being forced to think about such issues leads to other benefits.