Moore's Law

Moore’s Law is not a law of science founded in scientific investigation but an uncannily accurate projection based on observation.

The law states that the complexity (i.e., number of transistors per chip) for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year. Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000.

Anyone working in the computer industry will at some time hear about Moore’s Law because of its ability to predict future processor transistor density and thus performance. In 1965, just four years after the first planar integrated circuit was discovered (not microprocessor), Dr. Gordon E. Moore with Intel had observed exponential growth in the number of transistors that could be manufactured on a chip. Dr. Moore went on to predict this exponential growth would continue. As it turned out, Intel has been able to manufacture microprocessor chips that at least doubled the number of transistors over a 12-month period or so and yet the cost per transistor has dropped over time.

For more on this subject from Ron Fenley's columns in the HAL-PC Magazine, go here. For more on this subject from the Intel Corporation, go here.

Here's a Fascinating Graph to Think About