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Images: Moore's Law turns 40

Gordon Moore's famous law has been around for four decades. Not bad for an idea he thought wouldn't last.

    Moore's Law turns 40

    Intel co-founder Gordon Moore then...

    Credit: Intel

    A young Gordon Moore

    Moore's Law turns 40

    ...and now.

    Credit: Intel

    An older Gordon Moore

    Moore's Law turns 40

    The sheet of graph paper that shook the world. While writing the article for Electronics Magazine, Moore sketched out his prediction of the pace of silicon technology.

    Credit: Intel

    The sheet of graph paper that shook the world. While writing the article for Electronics Magazine, Moore sketched out his prediction of the pace of silicon technology.

    Moore's Law turns 40

    Transistors are go! In the '50s, transistor production was in the millions. In 2003, it hit a quintillion, or a trillion million. Prices have gone the opposite direction; some people estimate that a transistor now costs about the same as one printed newspaper character. And transistors have gone way beyond diminutive. Intel says some are so small that about 200 million could fit on the head of a pin.

    Source: VLSI Research, Intel

    Chart: Transistors are go! In the '50s, transistor production was in the millions. In 2003, it hit a quintillion, or a trillion million. Prices have gone the opposite direction; some people estimate that a transistor now costs about the same as one printed newspaper character. And transistors have gone way beyond diminutive. Intel says some are so small that about 200 million would fit on the head of a pin.

    Moore's Law turns 40

    Intel's first microprocessor, the 4004, appeared in 1971 and powered calculators. It featured 2,300 transistors.

    Credit: Intel

    Intel's first microprocessor, the 4004, appeared in 1971 and powered calculators.

    Moore's Law turns 40

    The Pentium 4, which debuted in 2000, sported 42 million transistors. Dual-core Itaniums have more than a billion.

    Credit: Intel

    The Pentium 4, which debuted in 2000.