What is Moore’s Law and Why Does it Matter?

If you don’t yet know what is Moore’s Law, it is the observation that in computing hardware history the parts on all circuits are integrated are going to double every two years. Often the period referred, erroneously, to is 18 months because of a statement made by David House, an Intel executive. What House was referring to is chip performance doubling. The man who created Moore’s Laws was Gordon Moore who made the declaration in a 1985 paper.

Moore’s Law in Detail

According to Moore’s paper, the components in computer circuits were doubling yearly since 1938 when the integrated circuit was invented up to the point when he wrote his paper in 1965. Moore predicted in his paper that the trend would last for at least another decade.

The reason why the law is so famous is that it has proven to be so accurate, even to this day. In fact has proven to be so effective that the law is now utilized in the semiconductor Industry. In fact the law is now used for development, research and long term planning in the computer industry.

It is also worth pointing out that the features of digital electronic devices are very much linked to Moore’s law and it includes sensors, memory capacity, processing speed, and even the pixels in digital cameras. As many developers have noted, their growth also corresponds to Moore’s law. The growth and expansion of these electronic components have boosted and made great advances in the world of digital electronics.

Since Moore penned down the law it has proven true and reliable for more than fifty years. Based on the latest studies, the law is expected to continue until at least 2015 or 2020. After that however, the densities and transistor counts are only going to double at an estimated three years. The expression “Moore’s law” was actually first used in 1970 by the entrepreneur Carver Mead in 1970.


In an interview on April 13, 2005 Moore stated that the while the law was accurate it won’t last forever. Moore also said that that the integrated circuits would eventually reach their end when they get to the subatomic level. Intel did a study in 2003 and they predicted that the law would no longer be effective around 2014 to 2018 because of quantum tunneling, and it could also be due to chips that chips becoming larger.

Other Information

Because of its popularity and reliability, the law has been rephrased by others, which has led to confusion. But the reason for it is that as stated it has proven to be effective when it comes to determining the amount of transistors in a chip and the cost of power per unit. While the law has proven to be accurate for computers, it has also been applied to data transmission, RAM, brain scanning resolution and LED light development.

If you are just beginning to study and learn what is Moore’s Law, you might be shocked by the fact that Moore did not have a lot of experience when he made the prediction. In fact he had only six years experience but had the foresight to see what lay ahead. Even though the law may end soon for computers it is probably going to be applicable in other fields and industries.

Caroline is a free lancer writer of http://www.mooreslaw.org/  and http://www.tech-faq.com/