In a forecasting exercise, Gordon Earle Moore, cofounder of Intel, plotted data on the number of components—transistors, resistors, and capacitors—in chips made from 1959 to 1965. He saw an approximate straight line on log paper (see Figure 1). Extrapolating the line, he speculated that the number of components would grow from 26 in 1965 to 216 in 1975, doubling every year. His 1965–1975 forecast came true. In 1975, with more data, he revised the estimate of the doubling period to two years. In those days, doubling components also doubled chip speed because the greater number of components could perform more powerful operations and smaller circuits allowed faster clock speeds. Later, Moore's Intel colleague David House claimed the doubling time for speed should be taken as 18 months because of increasing clock speed, whereas Moore maintained that the doubling time for components was 24 months. But clock speed stabilized around 2000 because faster speeds caused more heat dissipation than chips could withstand. Since then, the faster speeds are achieved with multicore chips at the same clock frequency
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Oliver Briscoe is a 20+ year veteran of the Informational Technology field. He understands his first principals and loves teaching others. Archives
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