Tiny Tech #6: More on Moore's Law

Today from the world of Tiny Tech:

In 1965, the chemist Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on a computer chip would double every two years, due to improvements in technology to make the individual circuit components smaller and smaller.  This prediction, known as Moore's law, turned out to be remarkably accurate, and as a result computers have steadily become more powerful.

Recently, the sizes of the individual components have not shrunk as fast as predicted by Moore’s Law.  This is because existing methods to make transistors – which are called “top-down” because they involve taking large patterns and shrinking them down – are reaching their limits. 

Chemists, engineers, and other scientists are now studying a new approach, called “bottom-up,” for making integrated circuits.  In this approach, the smallest possible components, atoms and molecules, are used to build up larger structures.  This idea has already led to the creation of circuit components that are much smaller than is possible using the “top-down” approach. 

These “bottom-up” methods may enable future computers with seemingly limitless possibilities – a future beyond Moore's law.  

Tiny Tech is made possible by the National Science Foundation and WUFT.  To learn more about Tiny Tech, go to tinytechradio.org.

Back to Script Archive