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The observation that steady technological improvements in miniaturization leads to a doubling of the density of transistors on new integrated circuits every 18 months. In the mid-1960s, Gordon Moore (born 1929), one of the founders of Intel Corporation, observed that the density of transistors had been doubling every year, although the pace slowed slightly in the following years. The 18-month pattern held true into the 21st century, though as technology approaches the point where circuits are only a few atoms wide, new technologies, possibly not involving transistors at all, may be required for further miniaturization.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.