Our Fall 2015 issue discussed the 50-year history of Moore’s Law—a surprisingly prescient prediction by Gordon Moore (PhD ’54) that the number of transistors that could fit on a single silicon chip would double approximately every two years.
“The Law of Moore” explores how rapidly accelerating growth in computer power has changed the world by transforming communication, navigation, entertainment, and automation.
On the 50th anniversary of his prediction’s first appearance in Electronics magazine, many people are looking ahead to new technologies that may enable Moore’s law to continue into the future, while others are marveling at how much has changed since its conception. This three-minute video shows how Moore’s Law has played out in the computer industry, which by 2015 was able to squeeze 30 million times more transistors on integrated circuits than was possible back in 1965. That improvement explains why the processing power of the world’s fastest super computer in 1995 can now fit in an iPad, where you can use it “to browse the web or play a game,” the narrator notes with tongue in cheek, “instead of doing science.”