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Opinion
Tim Culpan

Moore’s Law Keeps Chip Leaders Ahead of the Pack

China is trying to catch up, but the blistering pace of development makes it a near-impossible task.

Density drive.

Density drive.

Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Cramming more components onto integrated circuits.

That was the blunt title of Gordon E. Moore’s essay on silicon chips published in Electronics magazine in April 1965. In the space of just three pages, the director of semiconductor R&D at Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp. outlined one of the most powerful observations in modern business and science. He wouldn’t have known it at the time, but it also serves as a precept ensuring semiconductor leaders stay ahead for as long as they keep spending.