Re: Moore's Law was: Re: [sl4] Call for information: Moore's Law

From: CyTG (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2008 - 02:10:39 MDT

Indeed. We had sorta the same debate a month back or so; was mores law a
self fulfilling prophecy or not. I vote not.
Looking at the graphics and timeframe around pentium-1 to pentium-3 and
ppro, I remember those days as Intel being a monopoly, it would dish out new
chips roughly 10-20% faster than the previous generation for a hefty
premium. You can do that when you're a monopoly.
But then competition came along and the situation changed, the race was on
again (the 1GHz race), and unfortunatly these graphs dont show recent events
(Pentium 4 and upwards).
I think mores law is a rough estimate wich hold its own while certain social
variables are intact, but its certainly not a "self fulfilling prophecy".
Can you think up a company that would rather compete with mores law than
with the competitor next door?

On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 6:48 AM, Harvey Newstrom <>wrote:

> CyTG wrote,
>> with nice graphics and all!
> Thanks for the link, but I am already aware of Wikipedia.
> I prefer the graphics in "The Lives and Death of Moore's Law" <
> These graphs look random, with no upward trend or exponential curve:
> Figure 1: Prices and Quantities of 16-kilobit DRAM chips
> Figure 2: Percentage difference in expected number of transistors in Intel
> microprocessors
> Figure 3: Number of transistors on Intel microprocessors
> Figure 4: Desktop computer processor speed
> Figure 5: Processor performance in millions of instructins (MIPS) for Intel
> processors
> Figure 6: Median price for desktop computers sold in the U.S.
> Figure 7: Percent change of price index for memory chips from previous year
> Figure 8: Average change in PC price indexes
> Quoted from the article:
> "A simple test for the validity of the Moore's Law can be done by charting
> the number of transistors on microprocessor chips. This chart is, basically,
> the one that is usually shown with the claim that it proves that the number
> of transistors doubles roughly every 18 months. The results can be seen in
> Figure 3...."
> <>
> "As can be seen from Figure 3, the number of transistors has not doubled
> very regularly. During the first decade of microprocessors, the doubling
> rate was approximately 22 months but also very irregular. After the
> introduction of the 80386 processor family, the doubling speed was closer to
> 33 months. During this period, the number of transistors jumped from
> 275,000, on the Intel 80386 chips in 1988 to 1.4 million transistors on the
> 80486 SL chips, at the end of 1992. In the Pentium, Pentium Pro and Pentium
> II processor families the transistor count doubled roughly at a rate of 54
> months. Strictly speaking, the transistor counts, however, have changed
> irregularly and the mentioned doubling times are based on statistical
> trends. Since late 1999, Intel has not included transistor counts in its
> processor summaries. In October 1999, Intel Pentium III Xeon and Mobile
> Pentium III processors had some 28 million transistors. In July 2001,
> Pentium 4 had about 42 million transistors...."
> Although technology is roughly getting faster all the time, it is doing so
> in fits and starts as new products emerge. There is no predictable pattern
> or discernable rate at which this occurs. Moore's Law is a rough trend, but
> not very accurate at all.
> --
> Harvey Newstrom <>

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