Milestone-Proposal talk:Moore's Law - Predicts Integrated Circuit Complexity Growth, 1965

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Ted Hoff Comments in Support of the Moore's Law Milestone -- Bberg (talk) 15:40, 7 February 2016 (CST)

I am Brian Berg, and I am the Region 6 IEEE Milestone Coordinator.

I am providing comments I received from two important friends of mine: Dr. Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff, Jr. and Dr. Eli Harari. Each of them has important first-hand experience with the dramatic impact of Moore's Law. Their experiences have truly changed the world.

I feel that it is important to appreciate how many technology advances took place based on the impact of Moore's Law on both technology advances as well as cost reductions. The result of this is that projects that were not technologically possible and/or cost-effective at their outset were funded and staffed, and then achieved success in the marketplace. Huge risks were tempered by Moore's Law. It is no exaggeration to say that the success of Silicon Valley and beyond would not have been possible without the assurance that Moore's Law provided re: these risks.

My first set of comments come from Ted Hoff. Ted's greatest achievement was the conceptual role he played in the invention of the 4004 microprocessor at Intel in 1971. Ted has received much recognition for the work he has done, including (1) the IEEE Computer Society's 1988 Computer Pioneer Award, (2) IEEE Fellow, (3) IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award in 1980, (4) induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1996, (5) receipt of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2009 from President Obama, (6) 2011 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, (7) Fellow of the Computer History Museum, and (8) Intel Fellow.

I personally know Ted through many avenues, including his membership in the Silicon Valley Technology History Committee's event organizing team within the Santa Clara Valley Section, and I am Chair of that Committee.

Here are Ted's comments:

I first learned of what we now call Moore's Law shortly after joining Intel Corporation in 1968. Gordon Moore invited me to his office to show a chart in which he had plotted the progress made in integrated circuit (IC) fabrication since the time of the IC's invention in 1959. The chart showed that the number of components was doubling almost every year.

Gordon noted that Intel's proposed products would advance that progress, possibly even increasing the growth rate. Gordon had published his observations a few years before while still at Fairchild Semiconductor in an effort to predict where the technology would be a decade later. These observations over time came to be known as "Moore's Law."

Gordon had also prepared yield curves showing the number of working chips one could expect as a function of chip size (i.e., area) for different levels of manufacturing process performance (e.g., defect density). It was very important to chose an optimum chip size, and Gordon's yield charts showed that doubling the size of a chip would almost (but not quite) result in a yield that was the square of the smaller chip's yield.

For example, consider a wafer with 200 possible chips and a yield of 10%. One would expect to get 20 functional chips per wafer. Double the area of the chip, and there would be less than 100 possible chips (the wafer was round and the chips rectangular, so part of the periphery of the wafer is unusable, and that part grows with chip size. With the same process conditions, the double-area chip would yield closer to 1% (10% squared), and so would produce about one functional chip per wafer. Thus, doubling the functionality of a chip might increase the cost more than 20 times over.

The use of Moore's Law to predict the ultimate manufacturability of a chip was very important, and those companies that could make accurate predictions had considerable market advantage. This importance can be appreciated based on the fact that the design of a complex chip might take a year, and so predicting when it could be manufacturable dictated the acceptable complexity of its design.

In my own case, it was understanding and applying Moore's Law that guided how complex the first microprocessor could be in order to perform the functions for the Busicom calculator (the first use of a microprocessor). If the processor design was too aggressive, it might not have been manufacturable at an acceptable price. The 4004 processor was conceived using a guideline target on the order of 2000 transistors.

Moore's Law played a role in subsequent microprocessors as well. The target specifications for the 8008 were written about 6 months after those for the 4004, and the use of Moore's Law allowed for the assumption that the design of the 8008 microprocessor could include 50% more transistors than the 4004.

In 1974, a group from IBM, including Bob Dennard (who was recognized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the first single-transistor cell DRAM) published a paper in the IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits which noted advantages from making circuitry smaller. The paper noted that the current minimum feature size was about 5 microns (i.e. 5,000 nanometers) and proposed feature size to be reduced to 1 micron. Hence, 25 times as many circuits could be made from the same amount of silicon, each circuit would consume 1/25 of the power of the original, and it would operate five times faster. Thus a five times reduction in linear dimensions allowed for about 125 times the performance at hopefully about the same cost.

This reduction in feature size has helped keep Moore's Law relevant to this day. Minimum feature size is now on the order of ten nanometers, and efforts are underway to see if it can be reduced further.

Another effort to keep Moore's Law alive is in the area of three-dimensional ICs. Packaging still remains a part of the cost of the final circuit, and the ability to stack layers of functionality is one way to add more function to each final package.

I believe Gordon Moore viewed his work as observation, but the acceptance of the concept has helped set targets for the technologists of the industry for over 50 years. Hence, the progress in meeting those targets has ensured that Gordon's observation should be considered a "law."

Eli Harari Comments in Support of the Moore's Law Milestone -- Bberg (talk) 16:29, 7 February 2016 (CST)

This is second of two sets of comments that Brian Berg (Region 6 Milestone Coordinator) is posting in support of the Moore's Law Milestone.

Dr. Eli Harari is very well known in the Flash Memory industry. I am an independent consultant, and my consulting specialty is Flash Memory. Eli and I became good friends while I was the "Champion" for the EEPROM IEEE Milestone which was dedicated at the Computer History Museum in 2012. I interviewed Eli at the 2015 Flash Memory Summit as well as at the Sept 2015 IEEE Silicon Valley Technology History Committee event How Non-Volatile Memory Became the World’s Most Valuable Semiconductor Storage. The knowledge I learned in great part from Eli allowed me to give a keynote talk at China Flash Forum in Beijing in November 2015 about the history of flash memory.

Eli holds approximately 150 issued patents, and has authored numerous technical publications. He has received much recognition for the work he has done, including (1) 2004 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Award, (2) 2006 IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Data Storage Device Technology Award, (3) 2008 GSA (Global Semiconductor Alliance) Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award, (4) 2009 IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal for Exceptional Contributions to the Microelectronics Industry, (5) induction into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Famein 2011, (6) membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and (7) the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2014 for “invention and commercialization of Flash storage technology to enable ubiquitous data in consumer electronics, mobile computing, and enterprise storage.“

Here are Eli's comments:

As Moore’s Law is not a physical law of nature, perhaps it should have been called “Moore’s Prophecy.” No matter what you call it, its inspirational, technological and economic impact over the past 50 years has been as profound as any Nobel Prize discovery.

Moore’s Law turned out to be the epitome of a self-fulfilling prophesy: it inspired generations of semiconductor and materials technologists, scientists, engineers, equipment manufacturers, production people, product marketers and business professionals to think beyond the horizon. It showed them the way to change the world with affordable, ubiquitous semiconductor devices. It also allowed me to persist through many year's time before my dream of flash memory's huge market impact became reality.

In the Flash memory industry where I worked for the past 40 years, Moore’s Law transistor scaling was unquestionably the most important factor in dramatically driving down the cost per bit of portable storage. From the 1 megabit Flash chip in 1988 to the 256 gigabit Flash chip in 2016, the Flash industry faithfully followed Moore’s Law through 18 technology generations (each generation doubled the number of bits per chip) over 28 years, which is 1.56 years per generation - amazingly close to the Gordon Moore’s projection.

The economic impact of such scaling brought the cost per bit of Flash memory from $50 per megabyte (1988) to 20 cents per gigabyte (2016), a factor of 250,000X in cumulative cost reductions. This, more than any other factor, propelled Flash memory to become ubiquitous in our everyday lives: what would your iPhone do for you if it did not have 64 gigabytes of Flash memory to store all your pictures, videos, apps and maps?

It is an honor for me to endorse Gordon Moore and Moore’s Law for this prestigious IEEE Milestone.

Eli Harari Retired Founder, Chairman and CEO, SanDisk Corporation

Advocate's review of Moore's Law -- Administrator4 (talk) 08:00, 19 February 2016 (CST)

File:2015-11 Bart Review of Moores Law Milestone Proposal.pdf

"Guided industry..." in citation -- Djkemp (talk) 08:11, 27 February 2016 (CST)

Is "Guided ..." the appropriate term to use?