One can argue that the primary driver of U.S. and even world economic growth in the last quarter-century is Moore\’s law–that is, the claim first advanced back in 1965 by Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel Corporation that the number of transistors on a computer chip would double every two years. But can it go on? Harald Bauer, Jan Veira, and Florian Weig of the McKinsey Global Institute consider the issues in \”Moore’s law: Repeal or renewal?\” a December 2013 paper. They write:
\”Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years, and for the past four decades it has set the pace for progress in the semiconductor industry. The positive by-products of the constant scaling down that Moore’s law predicts include simultaneous cost declines, made possible by fitting more transistors per area onto silicon chips, and performance increases with regard to speed, compactness, and power consumption. … Adherence to Moore’s law has led to continuously falling semiconductor prices. Per-bit prices of dynamic random-access memory chips, for example, have fallen by as much as 30 to 35 percent a year for several decades.
As a result, Moore’s law has swept much of the modern world along with it. Some estimates ascribe up to 40 percent of the global productivity growth achieved during the last two decades to the expansion of information and communication technologies made possible by semiconductor performance and cost improvements.\”