Last month was the 55th anniversary of Gordon Moore’s famous paper Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. He took a long-term view of the trends in integrated circuits being implemented using successively smaller feature sizes in silicon. Since that paper, integrated circuit developers have been relying on three of his predictions:
- The number of transistors per chip increasing exponentially over time.
- The clock speed increasing exponentially.
- The cost per transistor decreasing exponentially.
These predictions have largely held true for almost half a century, enabling successive generations of processors to achieve higher computational performance through greater processor complexity and higher clock speeds. These improvements were mainly delivered through general-purpose processors implemented in new technology nodes.
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