In 1965 Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, predicted that the number of components that could fit on a microchip would double every year for the next decade. Moore revised his prediction in 1975 to a doubling of components every two years – a prophecy that remained true for another four decades. The ramifications on the world of technology and, by extension, society itself of what is now known as ‘Moore’s Law’ have proven immeasurable. The doubling of transistors – semi-conductor devices that switch electronic signals and power – meant that technology would become exponentially more powerful, smaller and cheaper. But over the past few years, Moore’s Law has begun to reach its natural end as we squeeze every nanometer of advancement out of silicon chips. Transistors are now getting too small to manufacture efficiently. Intel itself delayed the release of its 10 nanometer – or a millionth of a millimeter – chip in 2016 to earlier this year, as it struggled to keep the chips functioning, while its 7nm successor is on track for 2021.
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