I’m not joking when I say there hasn’t been a single presentation at this Intel Developer Forum that hasn’t mentioned Gordon Moore’s ‘Law’.
This all springs from an interview he gave in 1965 where he stated that the number of transistors you could fit onto a processor die would double, and the cost to do so would halve, every 18-24 months. The exact time scale is under dispute; it seems to change depending on Intel’s production schedules and Moore himself was unsure.
But let’s not kid ourselves, this isn’t a law. It’s a guideline at best, an off the wall prediction at worst. The actual range of transistor density has varied significantly since the original prediction and technology could break it or slip behind at any time.
IT is a young industry and the myth making of its founders is still with us. History is littered with rash predictions – when the computer was first invented one IBM employee predicted that the total demand for computers would be less than fifty worldwide for example.
That doesn’t stop Intel employees from quoting the thing like it’s scripture every five minutes. There’s even been an unofficial pool among journalists on the exact number of minutes into a keynote it’s mentioned.
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