My working title was "Moore’s Lore,” stories about Moore’s Law. A "marketing expert" insisted I put my name in the title.
The original Moore’s Law, described by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore for Electronics magazine in 1965, estimated that circuit density could increase for 10 years, at the same cost, and indeed by 1975 Intel was shipping chips that had over 64,000 circuits on them. Moore then “formalized” the law, saying he expected density to continue doubling, at the same pace, for as far as he could foresee.
That’s Moore’s First Law. Moore never mentioned a second law, but it’s there.
Moore’s Second Law is that just as circuit complexity grows exponentially, so does its capital cost. While you can make up this cost by making more chips, it means the chip-making business is consolidating. Today there are only four manufacturers of microprocessors – Samsung, China’s Taiwan Semiconductor, the Middle East’s Global Foundries, and Intel itself.
The implications of Moore’s Second Law, as it continues grinding down, is that chip production becomes a national security issue.
Ever since Moore’s 1965 article came out, cynics have been trying to call a halt to Moore’s Law. As circuit lines get close together their distance can’t be measured, the cynics note. Every increased expense or shortfall in decreasing circuit size is seen to be evidence that the “Law” is “ending.”