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The innovation curve [Moore's law in semiconductor industry]

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1 Author(s)
Grier, D.A. ; Center for Int. Sci. & Technol. Policy, George Washington Univ., DC, USA

The world of the computer has been marked by rapid change since its very inception. In the hardware domain, we think of change as being driven by Moore's law, the observation of Gordon Moore concerning the improvements in integrated circuits. Viewed from a distance, Moore's law has seemed to be a natural phenomenon, something akin to gravity. Every 18 months, processors are faster, memories are larger, and prices are lower. However, as we probe the operation of the semiconductor industry, we quickly find that there is little natural about Moore's law. The industry has been able to achieve the targets of this law only through careful, dedicated planning. Over the past few years, these plans have taken the form of a large, collaborative document known as a "roadmap". The roadmap has been revised every three to four years with interim reports appearing between the major revisions.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 2 )