Here’s the start of the wikipedia entry for Moore’s Law:
Moore’s law describes an important trend in the history of computer hardware: that the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. The observation was first made by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore in a 1965 paper. The trend has continued for more than half a century and is not expected to stop for another decade at least and perhaps much longer.
Here’s the diagram that tends to go alongside such text, also from Wikipedia:
The trouble with all this is that normal people are not necessarily used to log scales, nor to statements about exponential growth in the capacity for placing inexpensive transistors in an integrated circuit. Which means that people’s eyes glaze over when I start talking to them about Moore’s Law. [Well actually most people make sure their eyes glaze over as soon as I start talking, regardless of subject, but that’s another matter.]
Where was I? Oh yes. Moore and his Law. I find this a simpler way of explaining it:
The chart above tracks the price per gigabyte storage in an iPod, and how that has varied over the years and generations. I’ve been using it for a while, and now it’s getting a little dated. Haven’t seen a more recent version, I sourced the chart from a James Stoup article in AppleMatters a few years ago.
If anyone has a more recent iPod/iPhone version i’d love to see it. Comments? Views? Have you found better ways of explaining Moore’s Law to my grandmother?