After 50 years, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's prediction about semiconductor miniaturization still holds up.
In an interview earlier this year, Moore, who co-founded Intel in 1968 with the late Robert Noyce, explained how the whole thing came about after Electronics asked him for the article.
Making Moore's Law Happen
Of course, the continued relevance of Moore's Law hasn't just happened by magic. Moore's prediction, while remaining accurate for 50 years, isn't actually a natural "law" like the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Shrinking the size of elements on computer chips so consistently and for so many decades has required incredible innovations like CMOS, silicon straining, VLSI, immersion lithography, high-k dielectrics, and most recently, FinFET or tri-gate "3D" transistor process technology. Those advances didn't just appear out of thin air because Moore's Law demanded they happen—brilliant, doggedly persistent people working in labs at universities and companies like Bell, Shockley Semiconductor, Fairchild, Intel, Toshiba, IBM, Advanced Micro Devices, TSMC, Samsung, and elsewhere invented them and thushelped extend Moore's Law, not the other way around.
Charles King, principal analyst, Pund-IT:
"The 50th anniversary of Moore's Law highlights an interesting issue—that the tech industry loves to talk about the importance of innovation but continuing relevance is a much rarer commodity. Originally, Gordon Moore was making a simple observation about the brevity of time required for significant technological advancement. But for half a century now, semiconductors, microprocessors, and related computing components have continued to evolve at the torrid pace Moore observed.
Jack Gold, principal analyst, J.Gold Associates:
"Fundamentally, Moore's Law (and its effect/consequences) has probably done more to fundamentally change how all of us live, work, and learn than anything else in history. Fifty years ago, who would have thought that we would be carrying supercomputers in our pockets? Who would have foreseen the wireless and mobile revolution? Who would have thought that companies like Google could instantly parse the entire Internet and give us information ... and who would have envisioned tens of billions of users on the Internet to begin with?
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy:
"Fifty years after Gordon Moore penned his observation now known as Moore's Law, why does it still matter? It matters because it is still the rallying cry in the tech industry to double transistors densities every two years. This then leads to higher performance and lower power technology.