1Moore’s Law and Intel Mark Milestones in Tech History
by Jeffrey Burt
21965—Gordon Moore Makes a Prediction
Moore, in an article in an electronics trade magazine, predicts that the number of transistors on a semiconductor would double every year, driving technological and business gains.
31968—Intel Is Born
Moore and Robert Noyce leave Fairchild Semiconductor to start their own chip company, calling it Intel.
41971—Intel’s First Microprocessor
The 4004, Intel’s first microprocessor, is released, holding a whopping 2,300 transistors.
51975—Moore’s Law Is Amended
Moore, shown here visiting Intel’s headquarters recently, revamps his prediction, changing it from the number of transistors doubling every year to doubling every two years.
61979—Intel Launches the Foundation of the PC Era
The chip vendor unveils the 8088, which holds 29,000 transistors. Two years later, IBM builds a PC leveraging the 8088, kicking off the personal computing era.
71982—Intel Hums Along
The company introduces the 80286 chip and its 134,000 transistors. Four years later, the 386 processor launches with 273,000 transistors.
81989—Intel Goes for 1 Million
The 486 is launched, marking the first time an Intel chip tops the 1-million transistor mark. It comes in with 1.2 million transistors.
91991—Intel’s Increasing Economies of Scale
The chip vendor begins production of 200mm wafers. Larger wafers hold more chips, which can significantly bring down production costs.
101993—Pentium Hits the Market
The first Pentium processor came with 3.1 million transistors and was followed two years later by the Pentium Pro, with 5.5 million transistors.
112001—Pentium 4 Pushes Moore’s Law Forward
Intel launched the popular chip, housing 42 million transistors.
122002—The Wafer Grows Some More
Intel begins 300mm wafer production, bringing production costs down even more. The company is continuing to push toward 450mm.
132004—Hyper-Threading Comes to Town
Intel arms the Pentium 4 with 125 million transistors and its Hyper-Threading technology, which enables multiple threads to run on each processing core, which improves performance and efficiency.
142008—Next Comes High-k/Metal Gate
Intel begins implementing high-k/metal gate in high-volume manufacturing, which reduced leakage in and helped drive the manufacturing of 45-nanometer chips.
152012—Intel Introduces 3D Tri-Gate Technology
Intel hits the 1-billion transistor mark with the Core i5 chip and also begins implementing its 3D Tri-Gate transistor architecture, enabling the continuation of Moore’ Law at 22nm and below. The architecture increases performance while reducing leakage and power consumption.
162015—Transistor Count Continues to Rise
The 5th generation Intel Core chip offers 1.3 billion transistors.
172015: A Time to Celebrate
Intel celebrates the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law during a recent event in San Francisco with the 86-year-old Gordon Moore.