Introduction to Moore’s Law and Why it Matters?

Ever since the introduction of computers, the hardware has consistently gotten faster, smaller, and cheaper. The processing power available on most cell phones today would have been unthinkable just ten years ago. Newer, faster, and more capable devices are rolled out at an unbelievable pace. Introducing these devices has changed how we lead our daily lives.

Who is Gordon Moore?

In 1968, Gordon Moore, pictured above, co-founded Intel and became part of the movement that created the first ever microprocessor. Microprocessors are the heart of today’s computing devices, and Intel is one of the leading microprocessor manufacturers in the world.

While working at Intel, Moore noticed a pattern in the growth of computing. He found that the number of transistors per square inch had doubled every year since the invention of integrated circuits. So, he developed Moore’s law that predicts that computing power would double every year. In 1975, he revised the estimate to every two years.

The Model for Moore's Law

The model, which Moore developed, has been remarkably consistent over the last fifty years. Computers continue to become faster and more capable. Many people debate if Moore’s law will continue to be valid. Some people believe this trend will not continue and we are pushing the laws of physics. The critical point of this discussion is there has been a well-established model that has consistently predicted the growth of computing power and has been accurate for the last half-century. Although the rate of growth might slow somewhat, there is no evidence this trend of growth of computing power will not continue for the foreseeable future.

Historical Results

The following figure plots the growth of computing power over time from 1970 until 2020. The model has been remarkably consistent during that period.

Recent Predictions of Moore's Law

Moore's Law is thought to be approaching its limits, as transistors cannot shrink much further than they already have. However, some experts have suggested that Moore’s Law can continue if it is reinterpreted in terms of other metrics such as execution speed or energy efficiency. Moore's Law still remains the primary driver of innovation in the technology industry, and Moore's Law predictions have recently been extended to encompass other areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. Moore’s Law is also used as an inspiration for the development of new technologies that may be able to extend its validity even further. As computing power increases exponentially, new technological advancements are just around the corner.

Learn More

It you would like to learn more about information technology, you can check out my class, Information Technology Essentials.

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