Moore's law

observation on the growth of integrated circuit capacity

Moore's law is that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles about every two years. Intel executive David House said the period was "18 months". He predicted that period for a doubling in chip performance: a combination of the effect of more transistors and their being faster. [1]

Plot of CPU transistor counts against dates of introduction. The vertical scale is semi-logarithmic; the line corresponds to exponential growth with transistor count doubling every two years.
An Osborne portable computer from 1982, and a 2007 Apple iPhone. The Osborne Executive weighs 100 times as much, is nearly 500 times as large by volume, cost about 10 times as much (adjusting for inflation), and has 1/100th the clock frequency of the phone.

The law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who described the trend in his 1965 paper.[2][3][4] The paper stated that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year from the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958 until 1965 and predicted that the trend would continue "for at least ten years".[2] His prediction has proved very accurate. The law is used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.[5]

The capabilities of many digital electronic devices are strongly linked to Moore's law: processing speed, memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras.[6] All of these are improving at (roughly) exponential rates as well.

This exponential improvement has greatly increased the effect of digital electronics in the world economy.[7] Moore's law describes a driving force of technological and social change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.[8][9]

This trend has continued for more than half a century. Intel stated in 2015 that the pace of advancement has slowed.[10] Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, announced that "our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two".


  1. "Moore's Law to roll on for another decade". Retrieved 2011-11-27. Moore also affirmed he never said transistor count would double every 18 months, as is commonly said. Initially, he said transistors on a chip would double every year. He then recalibrated it to every two years in 1975. David House, an Intel executive at the time, noted that the changes would cause computer performance to double every 18 months.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Moore, Gordon E. (1965). "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits" (PDF). Electronics Magazine. p. 4. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
  3. "Excerpts from a conversation with Gordon Moore: Moore's Law" (PDF). Intel Corporation. 2005. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2006-05-02.
  4. "1965 – "Moore's Law" predicts the future of integrated circuits". Computer History Museum. 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  5. Disco, Cornelius; van der Meulen, Barend (1998). Getting new technologies together. New York: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 206–207. ISBN 3-11-015630-X. OCLC 39391108. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  6. Nathan Myhrvold (7 June 2006). "Moore's Law corollary: pixel power". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  7. Rauch, Jonathan (2001). "The new old economy: oil, computers, and the reinvention of the Earth". The Atlantic Monthly. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  8. Keyes, Robert W. (2006). "The impact of Moore's Law". Solid State Circuits Newsletter. Vol. 11, no. 3. pp. 25–27. doi:10.1109/N-SSC.2006.4785857. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  9. Liddle, David E. (2006). "The wider impact of Moore's Law". Solid State Circuits Newsletter. 11 (3): 28–30. doi:10.1109/N-SSC.2006.4785858. S2CID 29759395. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  10. "INTEL CORP, FORM 10-K (Annual Report), Filed 02/12/16 for the Period Ending 12/26/15" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2017-08-31.