3. Recognize and define various terms for measuring data capacity.
4. Consider the managerial implication of faster and cheaper computing on areas such as strategic
planning, inventory, and accounting.
Faster and cheaper—those two words have driven the computer industry for decades, and the rest
of the economy has been along for the ride. Today it’s tough to imagine a single industry not
impacted by more powerful, less expensive computing. Faster and cheaper puts mobile phones in
the hands of peasant farmers, puts a free video game in your Happy Meal, and drives the drug
discovery that may very well extend your life.
This phenomenon of “faster, cheaper” computing is often referred to as
, after Intel
cofounder, Gordon Moore. Moore didn’t show up one day, stance wide, hands on hips, and declare
“behold my law,” but he did write a four-page paper for
in which he
described how the process of chip making enabled more powerful chips to be manufactured at
cheaper prices.G. Moore, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits,”
, April 19, 1965.
Moore’s friend, legendary chip entrepreneur and CalTech professor Carver Mead, later coined the
“Moore’s Law” moniker. That name sounded snappy, plus as one of the founders of Intel, Moore
had enough geek cred for the name to stick. Moore’s original paper offered language only a chip
designer would love, so we’ll rely on the more popular definition:
chip performance per dollar
doubles every eighteen months
. (Moore’s original paper stated transistors per chip, a proxy for
power, would double every two years, but many sources today refer to the