Excerpt from The PC Pioneers
On this day in 1965 Gordon Moore, as head of research and development at Fairchild Semiconductor, wrote an article in Electronics magazine to first air his views on the speed of semiconductor development.
It suggested that the equivalent number of transistors able to be included on a microchip would double every year. By 1975 he revised it to state that it would still double, but now only every eighteen months.
The subsequent facts certainly seem to have confirmed this:
- Texas Instruments produced the first silicon transistor in 1954. This was the base zero for Moore’s Law – a single transistor;
- By the 1960s TTL quads or gates were being manufactured which contained effectively a set of 16 transistors;
- By the 1970s 8-bit microprocessors arrived with the equivalent of 4,500 transistors;
- By the 1980s, the 32-bit MPUs had an equivalent of over 250,000 transistors;
- The 1990s saw new 32-bit MPUs with the equivalent of over 3 million transistors;
- The 64-bit MPUs of the 2000s have the equivalent of almost 600 million transistors.