Essay: Gordon Moore's Crystal Ball

In 1965, Electronics magazine asked the head of research at Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. to sketch out the next decade of the fledgling chip industry. So Gordon E. Moore decided to plot the heady growth in the number of transistors on chips, from a mere four transistors in 1961 to more than 200 on a chip then being envisioned. What he found was amazing: The transistor count per chip was doubling every year. Moore boldly predicted in print that it would do so for the next 10 years--the first appearance of what would come to be called Moore's Law.

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