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What is Moore’s Law?

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Avis Moonsamy
Technical Expert and Passionate Nature Photographer
Moore’s law state that computing power will double their speed every 18 months or so. While many have predicted the law to end in the 1980’s, it has been going strong even today - but for how long? Moore's Law suggests exponential growth, and it is unlikely it will last forever.

Moore’s law is an observation made by Gordon Moore which states that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit will double approximately every 18 to 24 months. This statement has held true as in 1965, chips had 50 transistors while today, Intel Core i7 processors have 731 million transistors. (Intel, 2010)

(Source: http://www.intel.com.au/content/dam/www/public/us/en/images/marquees/moores-law-tech-page-masthead-5-1.jpg.rendition.cq5dam.thumbnail.640.213.jpg)

While many have predicted the law to end in the 1980’s, it has been going strong even today. Chip manufacturers compete with each other for bigger market share, and they all know Moore’s law. If they don’t innovate and double their speed every 18 months or so, the bet is someone else will.

To keep market dominance, manufacturers invest massively in Research and Development to shrink components while boosting performance. It may also be a desire to overcome the challenge as engineers keep on finding new ways to push the limits. Consumers also play a role as they are used to new technologies coming out every year and they keep expecting more.

While it is difficult to predict its end, at some point engineers may reach technical limitations where they can no longer miniaturize components, or it may not be economically feasible to make smaller transistors.

Consumers use computers for simple tasks –internet surfing or emails. With the rise of cloud computing, users can access all the power they need from the internet, reducing the need for powerful computers.


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