Week 42: Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of Moore’s Law At DAC

What does the future hold for this famous observation?


April 19th will mark the 50th anniversary of Gordon Moore’s now famous paper in Electronics Magazine predicting that the number of transistors on a chip will double every year. In 1975, Moore—Intel’s co-founder—revised the period to every two years, and it is still holding true. Moore’s Law not only became a legendary prediction and long-term planning guide for the semiconductor industry but also a motivation for EDA to develop and deliver the tools that made possible the regular doubling of transistor density Moore described.


EDA of course is inextricably linked to the semiconductor industry. According to data analysis done by Mentor’s market intelligence team for Wally Rhines’ keynotes, EDA revenue is a pretty constant 2% of semiconductor R&D spending. So I guess it is with good reason that we spend a minute to pause while celebrating what Aart de Geus calls “the most profound exponential” and ask ourselves what the future will hold for Moore’s Law?

Find out at DAC from Intel Fellow Vivek Singh, whose Tuesday morning visionary talk is entitled “Moore’s Law at Fifty: No End in Sight.” Vivek is the director of computational lithography in Intel’s technology and manufacturing group. He is responsible for all of Intel’s CAD and modeling tool development in full chip optical proximity correction (OPC), lithography verification, rigorous lithography modeling, next-generation lithography selection, inverse lithography technologies, and double patterning.


Here is the abstract for Vivek’s talk, which will take place right before the Tuesday keynote on the main stage:

Moore’s Law is an observation that a transistor – the fundamental building block of the digital age – will decrease in cost at a steady, exponential rate. This decrease in cost as well as transistor size over the past 50 years has also led to dramatic increases in compute power and energy efficiency and transformed our world with ever-more powerful smart phones, tablets, personal computers and data centers. It has also enabled computing to become a powerful yet invisible force in our homes, offices, cars, factories and much more. These imperatives are the reason Moore’s Law will continue, and motivated teams will continue to find innovative solutions to the engineering challenges of the day, just as they have in the past. This talk will provide some examples of how complex problems have been overcome in recent technology nodes, including those from the field of Computational Lithography. Inverse Lithography and Source Mask Optimization are two such examples that have helped extend the life of 193 patterning. Such innovations, fed by a rich technology pipeline, give us confidence that Moore’s Law will continue.

Considering the fantastic lineup of general session speakers we have this year, also including four amazing keynotes, I shouldn’t need to convince you anymore to make sure and register early for DAC. Remember you get all this great content free with an “I Love DAC” registration.

On a side note: Before I reached out to Intel and invited Vivek to speak at DAC, I read up a little on Moore. I ran across a great article in IEEE Spectrum where he was asked what he would like his legacy to the world would to be: “Anything”, he says, shaking his head ruefully, “but Moore’s Law.” … He’s not entirely averse to the renown the brash prediction has conferred, mind you. “I have to admit,” he says with a sheepish grin, “a while back I Googled Murphy’s Law and Moore’s Law, and Moore’s has twice as many references as Murphy’s.”

Moore lives in Hawaii and now mostly concentrates on retirement and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. However his prediction is still central to our industry, which is why we are looking forward to celebrating 50 years of Moore’s Law at DAC in June 2015.

Early conference registration opens later this week when the conference program goes live. Make sure to take advantage of the discounted early registration rates!

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