Moore’s Law

Moore’s law is an observation that Dr. Gordon E. Moore, a director of research and development at Fairchild Semiconductor, made about technological components becoming smaller and more efficient at an exponential rate. Moore’s law depends on two factors, technological advances and the growth rate of manufacturing. That means for Moore’s Law to remain valid society would have to constantly innovate at a speed that parallels Moore’s observation. Another problem lies in manufacturing and the economic feasibility of manufacturing computer components that can become increasingly smaller.

However Moore’s Law isn’t exactly a law. It doesn’t have a fundamental rule because there isn’t a rigid system that guides the innovation of computer components. Yet surprisingly Moore’s Law has upheld since it’s was first conceived in 1965. This would be mainly due to many companies spending billions of dollars to accelerate research and development into improving computer components.

So will Moore’s Law every come to an end? Today’s computer components exist at a scale so tiny that they can only be seen through a microscope. At this nano scale innovation changes from physics to quantum mechanics. An example of this would be quantum tunneling within modern microprocessors. In a microprocessor there is a possibility that an electron, which behaves like a wave, might overlap a barrier and touch a conductor. This is bad for the microprocessor electrons can be leaked and computer errors can occur due to miscalculation. However this problem has been minimized over the years while microprocessors are becoming increasingly smaller.

Another aspect that makes Moore’s law stand the test of time is its constant redefinition. Originally Moore’s Law was defined as “the number of discrete components on a newly manufactured integrated circuit doubles every 12 months”, but this number has been altered and the tech industry now accepts 18 to 24 months. But this alteration also helps to extend the range of Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law is a bar that many computer manufacturing companies hope to achieve which helps to advance innovation in technology.

-Allen Shen


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