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Makimotos wave is named after Dr Tsugio Makimoto. Dr Makimoto is a technologist who has worked at Sony and Hitachi. He co-authored Digital Nomad with David Manners which was published in 1997 and seems to have been influential to executives in the semiconductor industry. Makimotos wave named is a twenty-year cycle between custom design components and general components.
While GPUs could be argued as general components based on their usage in machine learning and cryptocurrency mining.
We’re definitely in an era of custom design components at the moment in personal computing, with PCs moving to bespoke processors based on the ARM architecture.
At the moment in mobile we are in the custom part of the cycle with the kind of silicon being created for smartphones like Apple’s and Samsung’s respective chips and we are due to see a swing to general purpose components from 2017 or so.
General purpose components may be very different to what we have been used to before. New processes will allow new functions to be built on the chips, though this seems to be happening at a slower rate with people like Intel making chipsets. Multiple pieces of silicon in a single chip package.
Makimotos wave helps us understand these transitions.
Like Moore’s Law, Makimotos law is used as a heuristic to try and understand what is happening within the industry. Dr Makimoto discusses it in this video below.
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