Moore's Law

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Moore's Law,

a projection of semiconductor manufacturing trends made by Gordon E. MooreMoore, Gordon Earle,
1929– American engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, b. San Francisco, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1954. He joined (1956) Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, where he worked with William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor.
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, cofounder of the Intel Corp., in a 1965 magazine article. He observed that the number of transistorstransistor,
three-terminal, solid-state electronic device used for amplification and switching. It is the solid-state analog to the triode electron tube; the transistor has replaced the electron tube for virtually all common applications.
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 per square inch on a microprocessormicroprocessor,
integrated circuit containing the arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry required to interpret and execute instructions from a computer program. When combined with other integrated circuits that provide storage for data and programs, often on a single
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 chip had doubled each year since the integrated circuitintegrated circuit
(IC), electronic circuit built on a semiconductor substrate, usually one of single-crystal silicon. The circuit, often called a chip, is packaged in a hermetically sealed case or a nonhermetic plastic capsule, with leads extending from it for input, output,
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 had been invented, and this led him to project that the number of transistors on a chip would double every 18 months—a time interval he revised in 1975 to every two years. Although Moore's assessment of his industry's expected industrial progress was not a scientific law, it was subsequently dubbed Moore's Law by the American physicist Carver Mead.

Moore's Law became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as microchip and electronics manufacturers competed to develop faster, smaller, and cheaper electronic devices. By the early 21st cent., the number of transistors on a typical memory chip had gone far beyond 1 billion. It is generally accepted that technological improvements in miniaturization and microelectronicsmicroelectronics,
branch of electronic technology devoted to the design and development of extremely small electronic devices that consume very little electric power. Although the term is sometimes used to describe discrete electronic components assembled in an extremely small
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 will reach a point where circuits are only a few atoms wide, making it physically impossible to make them even smaller. To maintain the pace projected by Moore's Law, new technologies such as quantum computers, optical switches, and spintronicsspintronics,
 spin electronics,
or magnetoelectronics,
science and technology that harnesses the spin state of electrons in addition to the electrical charge state to store data or perform calculations.
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 will need to be developed.

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Moore's law

[′mürz ‚lȯ]
(computer science)
The prediction by Gordon Moore (cofounder of the Intel Corporation) that the number of transistors on a microprocessor would double periodically (approximately every 18 months).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Moore's Law

/morz law/ The observation, made in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore while preparing a speech, that each new memory integrated circuit contained roughly twice as much capacity as its predecessor, and each chip was released within 18-24 months of the previous chip. If this trend continued, he reasoned, computing power would rise exponentially with time.

Moore's observation still holds in 1997 and is the basis for many performance forecasts. In 24 years the number of transistors on processor chips has increased by a factor of almost 2400, from 2300 on the Intel 4004 in 1971 to 5.5 million on the Pentium Pro in 1995 (doubling roughly every two years).

Date Chip Transistors MIPS clock/MHz ----------------------------------------------- Nov 1971 4004 2300 0.06 0.108 Apr 1974 8080 6000 0.64 2 Jun 1978 8086 29000 0.75 10 Feb 1982 80286 134000 2.66 12 Oct 1985 386DX 275000 5 16 Apr 1989 80486 1200000 20 25 Mar 1993 Pentium 3100000 112 66 Nov 1995 Pentium Pro 5500000 428 200 -----------------------------------------------

Moore's Law has been (mis)interpreted to mean many things over the years. In particular, microprocessor performance has increased faster than the number of transistors per chip. The number of MIPS has, on average, doubled every 1.8 years for the past 25 years, or every 1.6 years for the last 10 years. While more recent processors have had wider data paths, which would correspond to an increase in transistor count, their performance has also increased due to increased clock rates.

Chip density in transistors per unit area has increased less quickly - a factor of only 146 between the 4004 (12 mm^2) and the Pentium Pro (196 mm^2) (doubling every 3.3 years). Feature size has decreased from 10 to 0.35 microns which would give over 800 times as many transistors per unit. However, the automatic layout required to cope with the increased complexity is less efficient than the hand layout used for early processors.

Intel Microprocessor Quick Reference Guide.

"Birth of a Chip", Linley Gwennap, Byte, Dec 1996. See also March 1997 "inbox".

Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers, Ken Polsson.

See also Parkinson's Law of Data.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

Moore's law

"The number of transistors and resistors on a chip doubles every 18 months," coined by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore regarding the pace of semiconductor technology. He said this in 1965 when there were approximately 60 devices on a chip. Proving Moore's law to be rather accurate, four decades later, Intel placed 1.7 billion transistors on its Itanium chip.

In 1975, Moore extended the 18 months to 24 months. He also said the cost of a semiconductor manufacturing plant doubles with each generation of microprocessor.

Reaching Another Law - That of Physics
Using current silicon manufacturing methods, we are reaching a limit to miniaturization. As of 2020, 5 nanometer chips are the state of the art and as small as experts envision without a dramatic change in design and materials (see process technology). See laws.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Researchers are looking into advanced computing to deal with the end of Moore's Law.
With the obsolescence of Moore's Law, however, it's more difficult to add transistors to a Silicon wafer and improve performance.
Although Moore's Law may not continue to scale using the conventional metrics, such as transistor counts, a variety of innovations in materials, devices, state variables, and parallel architectures will likely combine to deliver continued exponential growth in computation, storage, and communications.
In fact, Moore's Law became so well known that it turned into an industry objective for competing companies.
Against the regular predictions of its demise, Moore's Law endures and remains essential to today's generation, which has come to expect and enjoy the experiences and opportunities defined by the observation.
BT: Considering that Intel might be running up against the limitations of Moore's Law (which states that processor speed doubles every two years while costs halve), how do you intend to address this technology challenge?
Moore's law says technological power doubles every two years.
Moore's Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary
More an aspiration than a law of nature, Moore's Law is the definitive benchmark to measure the productivity gains achieved across a range of technical processes, from developing photo cells to brewing beer.
Happy belated birthday to Moore's Law, which turned 50 years old last month ...
So much of what we refer to as progress depends on the continual efficacy of Moore's Law. My mother once slept with a Moore.
In 1965, company co-founder Gordon Moore set forth the axiom that has become known as Moore's Law: The number of transistors incorporated in a silicon chip will approximately double every two years.