Computer History Museum Presents The 40th Anniversary of Moore's Law with Gordon Moore and Carver Mead

Mountain View, California  |  September 15, 2005

The Computer History Museum, the world's largest museum dedicated to preserving and presenting the artifacts and stories of the information age, will host Computer History Museum Presents: The 40th Anniversary of Moore's Law with Gordon Moore, co-founder and chairman emeritus, Intel, in conversation with Carver Mead, chairman and founder, Foveon, 7 p.m., September 29, at the Computer History Museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, Calif. The evening presentation is co-hosted by SEMI.

This exclusive West Coast celebration presents the first publicly-accessible, informal conversation between two distinguished contributors to the information technology revolution: one who posited Moore's Law, and the other who named it. Recordings of this historic event will become part of the Museum's permanent record. This event will bring together the industry's pioneers, visionaries and current leaders for a thought-provoking discussion on the impact of "Moore's Law" on technology, business, and society. Silicon Valley legends Gordon Moore and Carver Mead will address the group with personal stories surrounding the theory's invention, evolution and future directions.

Forty years ago, Moore made an observation that became an accurate forecast of the rapid pace of semiconductor innovation. Popularly known as "Moore's Law," it stated that transistor density on integrated circuits would double about every two years. Since then, Moore's Law has been the technology guidepost for the semiconductor equipment and materials industry, stimulating suppliers to invest billions of dollars in research and development to push the limits of CMOS silicon.

It was Mead, formerly a professor at CalTech, who coined the term "Moore's Law." The original prediction that circuit density would double every year was right on the mark for the first 10 years. In 1975, Moore revisited the issue and adjusted the prediction to a doubling every two years - although it is popularly quoted in the press as being "every 18 months."

"I had no idea this was going to be an accurate prediction, but amazingly enough instead of 10 [years] doubling, we got nine over the 10 years, but still followed pretty well along the curve," said Moore in an interview published by Intel to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Moore's Law.

Moore is humble about the accuracy of his namesake law. "There was no way [at the time] we could predict very far down the road what was going to happen," he said. Instead, Moore calls it a "lucky guess...a lucky extrapolation."

"The industry made it a self-fulfilling prophecy now, the industry road maps are based on that continued rate of improvement. All the participants in the business recognize that if they don't move that fast they fall behind technology, so essentially from being just a measure of what has happened, it's become a driver of what is going to happen. Something I never would have imagined initially."

The evening presentation is part of the Museum's Computer History Museum Presents Speaker Series, an exclusive platform for open, passionate discussions for presenting the computing revolution and its impact on the human experience. These landmark presentations and panel discussions present inside stories and personal insights of top information age leaders from industry, government and academia, and assist the Museum in bringing computing history to life. Pre-registration is required. Entry is free for members of the Computer History Museum; non-members are asked for a $10 donation to the museum. A member reception begins at 6:00 p.m., with the discussion starting at 7:00 p.m. To register, visit the CHM website at

About the Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, a public benefit organization, preserves and presents for posterity the artifacts and stories of the information age. The Museum is dedicated to exploring the social impact of computing and is home to the world's largest collection of computing-related items - from hardware (mainframes, PCs, handhelds, key integrated circuits), to software, to computer graphics systems, to Internet and networking - and contains many one-of-a-kind and rare objects such as the Cray-1 supercomputer, the Apple I, the WWII ENIGMA, the PalmPilot prototype, the 1969 Neiman Marcus (Honeywell) "Kitchen Computer" and the Minuteman I Guidance Computer. The collection also includes photos, films, videos, documents, and culturally-defining advertising and marketing materials. Currently in its first phase, the Museum brings computing history to life through its Speaker Series, seminars, oral histories and workshops. The Museum also offers tours of Visible Storage, where nearly 600 objects from the Collection are on display. Debuting September 2005 is a new exhibit, Mastering The Game: A History of Computer Chess. Future phases will feature full museum exhibits including a timeline of computing history, theme galleries, and much more. For more information, please visit

About SEMI

SEMI is a global industry association serving companies that develop and provide manufacturing technology and materials to the global semiconductor, flat panel display, MEMS and related microelectronics industries. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose (Calif.), Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Press Contacts:

PR Team
(650) 810-1059

Jonathan Davis, SEMI
(408) 943-6937


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