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When Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, plotted a growth curve in 1965 that showed the number of transistors on a microchip doubling every 18 months, no one had any idea that his speculations would not just prove prescient but would become a dictate--the law by which the industry lives or dies.
Like a drug addict in search of a fix, the semiconductor industry can keep on the curve of Moore's law only by constantly adopting new technology that requires ever greater infusions of capital and technical sophistication. Intel, the company that has served as the standard bearer for Moore's law, has waged a five-year crusade to develop a method of printing circuit patterns on chips that could take the reigning CMOS chip technology until circuits can be made no smaller, the last data point on the Moore curve.
This article was originally published with the title Getting More from Moore's.