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March of the Machines

The growth in processor power over the last 40 years seems so uniform that it almost has the status of a law of nature. Moore’s Law, as it is called, states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years. We don’t know how long it will hold true, but here are some of the most significant chips and devices this growth has made possible.

files/39895/TR_moores_02.swf

Explore the exponential growth in processor power over the last four decades with this interactive graph. The number of transistors belonging to key microprocessor in computing history is plotted against time. Click on each data point to see a description of the chip, and the influential products that were based on them.

Credit: Alastair Halliday

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