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Meeting The Maker Of Moore's Law

What’s in a name? Key chip dimensions, such as the transistor gate length [yellow] and the metal one half pitch [orange]—half the distance spanned by the width of a wire and the space to the next one on the dense, first metal layer of a chip—have decreased but not strictly tracked the node name [red]. These numbers, provided by GlobalFoundries, reflect the company’s plans to accelerate the introduction of 14 nm chips in 2014, a good year early. (Data Source: GlobalFoundries)
What’s in a name? Key chip dimensions, such as the transistor gate length [yellow] and the metal one half pitch [orange]—half the distance spanned by the width of a wire and the space to the next one on the dense, first metal layer of a chip—have decreased but not strictly tracked the node name [red]. These numbers, provided by GlobalFoundries, reflect the company’s plans to accelerate the introduction of 14 nm chips in 2014, a good year early. (Data Source: GlobalFoundries)

It almost feels like a law of nature. You break your two-year-old smartphone. The next day you go the store and find a new one that’s faster and cheaper and just plain better. Computer chips keep getting better — it’s a phenomenon that engineers call Moore’s law. And it’s about to celebrate an anniversary.

Next year will mark 50 years since engineer Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corporation, made the observation. Now the big question is: how long it will last? Here & Now’s tech partner, IEEE Spectrum, sent Rachel Courtland to Hawaii for a rare interview with the man himself.

Guest

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