A Trip Down Memory Lane – Moore’s Law

A Trip Down Memory Lane – Moore’s Law
January 19, 2015 No Comments Uncategorized Colette Grail

In 1965, George Moore, director of research and development (R&D) at Fairchild Semiconductor at the time, forecast in an interview that “The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year.”  He later modified that rate to doubly every two years at the 1975 IEEE convention.  Thus Moore’s Law was created.

The semiconductor industry actually has used this law to set goals for capability, and the results are impressive.  It works.

By Wgsimon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Wgsimon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Whether Moore set the bar or predicted the future.  Thank goodness we don’t have to lug around the “executive portable computer” any more.  The iPhone pictured below is from 2007 too.

An Osborne Executive portable computer, from 1982 with a Zilog Z80 4MHz CPU, and a 2007 Apple iPhone with a 412MHz ARM11 CPU; the Executive weighs 100 times as much, has nearly 500 times as much volume, cost approximately 10 times as much (adjusted for inflation), and has about 1/100th the clock frequency of the smartphone.

An Osborne Executive portable computer, from 1982 with a Zilog Z80 4MHz CPU, and a 2007 Apple iPhone with a 412MHz ARM11 CPU; the Executive weighs 100 times as much, has nearly 500 times as much volume, cost approximately 10 times as much (adjusted for inflation), and has about 1/100th the clock frequency of the smartphone.

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