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Moore's Law

Moore's Law
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In 1965 - long before PDA's, notebooks or even Desktop PC's - Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would continue to double every year for the next decade. Although it was an observation rather than any attempt to formulate a scientific law, "Moore's Law" has proved remarkably accurate over the last 40 years. Moore adjusted the time period to two years in the mid-70's, compensating for the increasing complexity of semiconductors, but the exponential growth continues - for example the Pentium 4 processor released in 2000 contains 42 million transistors compared to the 1999 Pentium III's 24 million. The current definition for Moore's Law is that computing speed doubles every 18 months and this is expected to continue for two decades, but its importance lies in the proven growth trend it exposes and subsequent technological advances, not the accuracy of its prediction. Intel expects to produce billion-transistor processors by 2010 and the capacity for growth that this "Law" sets out keeps chip manufacturers from becoming too complacent. Not only did Dr. Moore predict the rate of growth, he was very much a part of the coinciding technological developments. He co-founded Intel Corporation in 1968, served as CEO from 1975 until 1987 and became Chairman Emeritus in 1997. Dr Moore also foresaw the radical changes in electronics that would take place in the final decades of the 21st century. At around the time he formulated Moore's Law he that "Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers...automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment". Moore also understands the economic implications of the exponential growth in processing power - in an interview earlier this year he noted that the "single most important thing Moore's Law does is decrease cost". As for current predictions of what the future holds, Moore admits that its too difficult to call - the PC was not on the radar screen in 1960, nor the internet in 1990 - but will definitely be full of surprises.

In 1965 - long before PDA's, notebooks or even Desktop PC's - Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would continue to double every year for the next decade. Although it was an observation rather than any attempt to formulate a scientific law, "Moore's Law" has proved remarkably accurate over the last 40 years. Moore adjusted the time period to two years in the mid-70's, compensating for the increasing complexity of semiconductors, but the exponential growth continues - for example the Pentium 4 processor released in 2000 contains 42 million transistors compared to the 1999 Pentium III's 24 million. The current definition for Moore's Law is that computing speed doubles every 18 months and this is expected to continue for two decades, but its importance lies in the proven growth trend it exposes and subsequent technological advances, not the accuracy of its prediction. Intel expects to produce billion-transistor processors by 2010 and the capacity for growth that this "Law" sets out keeps chip manufacturers from becoming too complacent. Not only did Dr. Moore predict the rate of growth, he was very much a part of the coinciding technological developments. He co-founded Intel Corporation in 1968, served as CEO from 1975 until 1987 and became Chairman Emeritus in 1997. Dr Moore also foresaw the radical changes in electronics that would take place in the final decades of the 21st century. At around the time he formulated Moore's Law he that "Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers...automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment". Moore also understands the economic implications of the exponential growth in processing power - in an interview earlier this year he noted that the "single most important thing Moore's Law does is decrease cost". As for current predictions of what the future holds, Moore admits that its too difficult to call - the PC was not on the radar screen in 1960, nor the internet in 1990 - but will definitely be full of surprises.

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