Is Software Outrunning Hardware?

Are software algorithm inventors making Moore’s Law look slow?

Steve Lohr argues it is in Software’s Progress beats Moore’s Law, over at the New York Times.

Lohr cites…

research, including a study of progress over a 15-year span on a benchmark production-planning task. Over that time, the speed of completing the calculations improved by a factor of 43 million. Of the total, a factor of roughly 1,000 was attributable to faster processor speeds, according to the research by Martin Grotschel, a German scientist and mathematician. Yet a factor of 43,000 was due to improvements in the efficiency of software algorithms.

So software is gaining speed 43 times faster than hardware?

Of course, how much of this translates into the kind of software you and I use is a completely different question.  Still, I’m pretty surprised.

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