In 1965, Gordon Moore made a prediction that would set the pace for our modern digital revolution. From careful observation of an emerging trend, Moore extrapolated that computing would dramatically increase in power, and decrease in relative cost, at an exponential pace.
The insight, known as Moore’s Law, became the golden rule for the electronics industry, and a springboard for innovation. As a co-founder, Gordon paved the path for Intel to make the ever faster, smaller, more affordable transistors that drive our modern tools and toys. Even 50 years later, the lasting impact and benefits are felt in many ways.
Performance—aka power—and cost are two key drivers of technological development. As more transistors fit into smaller spaces, processing power increased and energy efficiency improved, all at a lower cost for the end user. This development not only enhanced existing industries and increased productivity, but it has spawned whole new industries empowered by cheap and powerful computing.
Moore’s observation transformed computing from a rare and expensive venture into a pervasive and affordable necessity. All of the modern computing technology we know and enjoy sprang from the foundation laid by Moore’s Law. From the Internet itself, to social media and modern data analytics, all these innovations stem directly from Moore and his findings.
The inexpensive, ubiquitous computing rapidly expanding all around us is fundamentally changing the way we work, play and communicate. The foundational force of Moore’s Law has driven breakthroughs in modern cities, transportation, healthcare, education, and energy production. In fact, it’s quite difficult to envision what our modern world might be like without Moore’s Law.
Like a metronome of the modern world, for 50 years Gordon’s prediction has set the pace for innovation and development. This foresight laid a fertile foundation from which all modern technology could spring, including the broad rise of digitization and personal electronics.
Moving forward, Moore’s Law and related innovations are shifting toward the seamless integration of computing within our daily lives. This vision of an endlessly empowered and interconnected future brings clear challenges and benefits. Privacy and security are persistent and growing concerns. But the benefits of ever smarter, ubiquitous computing technology, learning to anticipate our needs, can keep us healthier, safer, and more productive in the long run.