Moore's law

  • a semi-log plot of mosfet transistor counts for microprocessors against dates of introduction, nearly doubling every two years.


    moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. the observation is named after gordon moore, the co-founder of fairchild semiconductor and was the ceo of intel, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit,[2] and projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade.[3] in 1975,[4] looking forward to the next decade,[5] he revised the forecast to doubling every two years, a compound annual growth rate (cagr) of 40%.[6][7][8]

    the doubling period is often misquoted as 18 months because of a prediction by moore's colleague, intel executive david house. in 1975, house noted that moore's revised law of doubling transistor count every 2 years in turn implied that computer chip performance would roughly double every 18 months (with no increase in power consumption).[9] moore's law is closely related to mosfet scaling,[10] as the rapid scaling and miniaturization of metal–oxide–silicon field-effect transistors (mosfets, or mos transistors)[11][12] is the key driving force behind moore's law.[10][13]

    moore's prediction proved accurate for several decades and has been used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development (r&d).[14] advancements in digital electronics are strongly linked to moore's law: quality-adjusted microprocessor prices,[15] memory capacity (ram and flash), sensors, and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras.[16] digital electronics has contributed to world economic growth in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.[17] moore's law describes a driving force of technological and social change, productivity, and economic growth.[18][19][20][21]

    moore's law is an observation and projection of a historical trend. it is an empirical relationship and not a physical or natural law. although the rate held steady from 1975 until around 2012, the rate was faster during the first decade. in general, it is not logically sound to extrapolate from the historical growth rate into the indefinite future. for example, the 2010 update to the international technology roadmap for semiconductors predicted that growth would slow around 2013,[22] and in 2015, gordon moore foresaw that the rate of progress would reach saturation: "i see moore's law dying here in the next decade or so."[23]

    microprocessor architects report that semiconductor advancement has slowed industry-wide since around 2010, below the pace predicted by moore's law.[24] brian krzanich, the former ceo of intel, announced, "our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two."[25] intel stated in 2015 that improvements in mosfet devices have slowed, starting at the 22 nm feature width around 2012, and continuing at 14 nm.[26] krzanich cited moore's 1975 revision as a precedent for the current deceleration, which results from technical challenges and is "a natural part of the history of moore's law".[27][28][29] leading semiconductor manufacturers, tsmc and samsung electronics, have the 10 nm and 7 nm finfet nodes in mass production,[30][31] and 5 nm nodes in risk production.[32][33]

  • history of the concept
  • major enabling factors
  • forecasts and roadmaps
  • consequences
  • other formulations and similar observations
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

A semi-log plot of MOSFET transistor counts for microprocessors against dates of introduction, nearly doubling every two years.


Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and was the CEO of Intel, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit,[2] and projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade.[3] In 1975,[4] looking forward to the next decade,[5] he revised the forecast to doubling every two years, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40%.[6][7][8]

The doubling period is often misquoted as 18 months because of a prediction by Moore's colleague, Intel executive David House. In 1975, House noted that Moore's revised law of doubling transistor count every 2 years in turn implied that computer chip performance would roughly double every 18 months (with no increase in power consumption).[9] Moore's law is closely related to MOSFET scaling,[10] as the rapid scaling and miniaturization of metal–oxide–silicon field-effect transistors (MOSFETs, or MOS transistors)[11][12] is the key driving force behind Moore's law.[10][13]

Moore's prediction proved accurate for several decades and has been used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development (R&D).[14] Advancements in digital electronics are strongly linked to Moore's law: quality-adjusted microprocessor prices,[15] memory capacity (RAM and flash), sensors, and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras.[16] Digital electronics has contributed to world economic growth in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.[17] Moore's law describes a driving force of technological and social change, productivity, and economic growth.[18][19][20][21]

Moore's law is an observation and projection of a historical trend. It is an empirical relationship and not a physical or natural law. Although the rate held steady from 1975 until around 2012, the rate was faster during the first decade. In general, it is not logically sound to extrapolate from the historical growth rate into the indefinite future. For example, the 2010 update to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors predicted that growth would slow around 2013,[22] and in 2015, Gordon Moore foresaw that the rate of progress would reach saturation: "I see Moore's law dying here in the next decade or so."[23]

Microprocessor architects report that semiconductor advancement has slowed industry-wide since around 2010, below the pace predicted by Moore's law.[24] Brian Krzanich, the former CEO of Intel, announced, "Our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two."[25] Intel stated in 2015 that improvements in MOSFET devices have slowed, starting at the 22 nm feature width around 2012, and continuing at 14 nm.[26] Krzanich cited Moore's 1975 revision as a precedent for the current deceleration, which results from technical challenges and is "a natural part of the history of Moore's law".[27][28][29] Leading semiconductor manufacturers, TSMC and Samsung Electronics, have the 10 nm and 7 nm FinFET nodes in mass production,[30][31] and 5 nm nodes in risk production.[32][33]