In 1965, Gordon E. Moore predicted that for the upcoming decades every two years the number of transistors packed on a single computer chip would double. Meaning: the speed and capacity of computers would grow exponentially!
Computer chips did become both faster, smaller, and cheaper to produce. The Apollo Guidance Computer brought us to the moon, while having less computing power than your modern toaster. We now have chips with 2.6 trillion transistors crammed on a single 7 nanometre chip. A nanometre? That’s one billionth of a meter!
Nearly sixty years later, Moore’s Law is still strong, but nearing it’s end. Investments in these developments are becoming more and more expensive, and the dimensions we’re talking about are getting closer to the minuscule scale of atoms.
In the next decades, researchers will focus on the design phase of electronics, and look at solutions such as photonics in which electrical signals are replaced by light signals. Or quantum computing where a processor calculates multiple calculations at once instead of one at a time.
So even without Moore’s law the development of computer chips does not stand still!