Moore’s Curse

There is a dark side to the revolution in electronics: unjustified technological expectations

3 min read
Moore’s Curse
Illustration: Dan Page

In 1965, the year in which the number of components on a microchip had doubled, Gordon Moore predicted [pdf] that “certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue.” In 1975 he revised [pdf] the doubling rate to two years; later, it settled down at about 18 months, or an exponential growth rate of 46 percent a year. This is Moore’s Law.

As components have gotten smaller, denser, faster, and cheaper, they have increased the power and cut the costs of many products and services, notably computers and digital cameras but also light-emitting diodes and photovoltaic cells. The result has been a revolution in electronics, lighting, and photovoltaics.

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Greg Mably


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