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What is Moore's Law, and Why is it Ending?

This particular facet of the computing world was coined by Gordon Moore, one of the founding members of Intel, a technological giant you may recognize today.

What you may not know is what Moore’s Law is. It is a prediction and observation which states that the number of transistors which manufacturers could fit on a single silicon chip would double every 24 months, or two years.

Beginning with a mere ten transistors in 1960, modern day silicon chips can hold up to 10 billion transistors. That’s right. 10 billion.

However, it is likely impossible for Moore’s Law to continue its trend of exponential growth for long. As the number of transistors double, and the space provided to silicon chips remains relatively small, the transistors themselves must be made to shrink ever smaller and be arranged ever neater, in order to fit them all on the silicon chip.

As such, the costs of pioneering technology to print ever smaller transistors rises exponentially as well, starting with only a few million dollars and nowadays peaking at 10 billion dollars, a staggering price which even tech giants can no longer afford to invest in.

So what is the solution? In order to continue increasing the speed of computers, tech companies must now use creative ways to squish ever increasing amounts of transistors onto their silicon chips. For example, finding a new way to arrange and order the transistors so that more can be printed onto the same area. However, there are also alternate forms of computing, such as biological and quantum computing which are yet unexplored, or relatively unexplored, which hold great potential for the future.

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