One year or two

One of the interesting things about Moore’s Law is that it actually exists in several different versions. In teaching, I tend to use the version where the amount of processing power available for a certain cost, or on a certain sort of chip, doubles every 18 months. I’m in good company: Brown and Duguid (2002: 14) suggest that Gordon Moore ‘predicted that the computer power available on a chip would double approximately every eighteen months’.

But in fact Moore’s original paper, available at http://download.intel.com/museum/Moores_Law/Articles-Press_Releases/Gordon_Moore_1965_Article.pdf , suggests that he expected computing power to double every year, and the background information at http://www.intel.com/technology/mooreslaw/ mostly refers to it doubling every two years, suggesting that Moore himself recognised that progress had slowed down a little by the 1970s.

Brown J S and Duguid P (2002): The social life of information. Harvard Business School Press.

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