Is Silicon the New Fabric for Our Lives?

Prakash Narain
President and CEO-Real Intent
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Prakash Narain
Siliconindia readers keenly understand the opportunities new technologies are bringing to the worlds of design, manufacturing and services. I would like to highlight specific new opportunities that have arisen in the world of semiconductors and what smart enterprises are doing to take advantage of these changes.

This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Moore's Law. On April 19, 1965, Electronics magazine published an article that profoundly impacted the world. It was authored by a Fairchild Semiconductor R&D Director, Gordon Moore, who forecast that transistors would decrease in cost and increase in performance at an exponential rate. The article predicted the availability of personal computers and mobile communications. Moore's seminal observation became known as 'Moore's Law' a law that established the path the semiconductor industry would take for the next 50 years or more and, in doing so would dramatically change our lives. Three years later Gordon Moore co-founded Intel, the number one semiconductor company in the world.

According to the analytics firm IHS, the pace of Moore's Law has resulted in $3 trillion dollars in added value to the Global Domestic Product (GDP) in the last 20 years. We have seen advances across a wide range of business sectors including transportation, energy, life sciences, environment, communications, entertainment, finance, and manufacturing.

In the communications sector there are 6.8 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, or about one per person. More than half of these, 3.6 billion, are so-called smartphones that enable a social media community of 2 billion users.

The power of Moore's Law has enabled the creation of semiconductor Systems-on-Chip (SoC) that provide rich feature set, brilliant graphics and wireless connectivity that we have learned to take for granted in our smartphones. We tend to overlook the fact that today's SoCs include hundreds of millions of digital logic gates.

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