What Is Moore’s Law?
Moore’s Law is an observation that led to a prediction by Gordon Moore in 1965 that in a dense integrated circuit (IC), the number of transistors doubles about every two years, although the cost of computers will be halved.
It is, technically, not a law or even a theory that is scientifically backed in the mold of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Still, it was referred to as such by Carver Mead, a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, around the mid-1970s, according to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
The observations were first published in a 1965 article for Electronics Magazine and modified and revised in the face of the present-day realities on transistor density.
In essence, Moore’s Law submits that the speed and capacity of computers will increase every couple of years, will come at a reduced cost, and the level of growth of microprocessors will be exponential.
Quoting directly from Gordon Moore, ‘The cost per component is nearly inversely proportional to the number of components,’ which implies that an increased number of transistors directly translates to a lower cost for each one.
Moore was the CEO of Fairchild Semiconductor and went on to become a co-founder of Intel.
His prediction held good for a decade, assuming the status of a law, and was slightly modified to now expect the number of transistors to double every two years.
The Law has found applications in several regards during the last couple of decades, being there or thereabouts in the predictions about the number of transistors that can fit on a single integrated circuit.
The technology behind semiconductors has continually increased in complexity leading to it being dubbed the ‘innovation engine’ that drives the perpetuation of Moore’s Law.
This evolution has reached molecular limits and has, by extension, slowed down the exponential benefits of Moore’s Law. Thus, in the past couple of years, the growth of the number of transistors on each integrated circuit is failing to keep up with the expectations of Moore’s Law.
As of 2015, Moore predicted that the Law might die in the coming decade, especially as industry big players like Samsung and Intel are exploring non-silicon computing, e.g., quantum computing.
Moore’s Law Example
Moore’s Law is demonstrated in the growth of digital electronics and powerful gadgets.« Back to Glossary Index