Moore’s law observes that over the computing hardware history, the number of transistors in an integrated dense circuit doubles approximately every 2 years. The observation was made by the co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore in 1965 when he noticed that the number of transistors per square inch has double on integrated circuits each year since they were invented.
The law predicts the trend will go on into the foreseeable future. Though the pace has slowed down, the number of transistors per square inched has since then doubled approximately for every 18 months. The prediction has proven to be accurate because in part, it is used in the semiconductor industry for purposes of guiding long term planning and setting targets for development and research.
The capabilities of most digital electronic devices is also strongly linked to Moore’s law such as memory capacity, quality adjusted microprocessor prices, sensors as well as the size and number of pixels in digital cameras. All these have been noted to improve at exponential rates as well. Because of this exponential improvement, the impact of digital electronics has been greatly advanced in nearly all segments of the world economy.
His law also described the driving force of social and technological change, economic growth and productivity in the late twentieth and twenty first centuries. The period is quoted often as 18 months because of Intel executive David House who made the prediction that chip performance would double in every eighteen months (as a result of the combination effect of more transistors and being faster).
Though the trend has continued for close to half a century, the law should be considered a conjecture or observation and not natural or physical law. In 2005, sources expected that it would continue to 2015 or 2020. However, the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors in 2010 predicted the growth would slow towards the close of 2013 when transistor densities and counts would double after three years only.
There are several digital technology measures that are been improved at exponential rates related to Moore’s law. These include the cost, size, speed and density of components. Moore only wrote about density of components ‘a component being a diode, transistor, capacitor, or resistor’ at minimum costs.
While Moore’s law was made initially as a forecast and an observation, it has become widely accepted and it has served the goals of the entire industry. It has driven both the engineering and marketing departments of semiconductor manufacturers to focus a great deal of energy on specified increase in processing power presumed to be more or one of the competitors one would attain.
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