SEMI recognizes equipment and materials makers’ role in Moore’s Law

April 15, 2015

Moore’s Law turns 50 this month, and the April issue of IEEE Spectrum offers several interesting articles on the topic—including associate editor Rachel Courtland’s interview with Gordon Moore himself. Spectrum covers Moore’s Law’s history as well as its often predicted demise—and the benefits that could bring.

What Spectrum doesn’t emphasize is the role semiconductor equipment and materials suppliers have played, although Moore does tell Courtland that you can’t even buy and install a single tool today for the $3 million in capital that launched Intel. So SEMI has stepped up to recognize the enabling contributions made by the over 1,900 SEMI member companies and their role in producing 219 billion integrated circuit devices and 766 billion semiconductor units per year.

“It was SEMI member companies who enabled Moore’s Law’s incredible exponential growth over the last 50 years,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI, in a press release. “Whereas hundreds of transistors on an IC was noteworthy in the 1960s, today over 1.3 billion transistors are on a single IC. SEMI member companies provide the capital equipment and materials for today’s mega-fabs, with each one processing hundreds or thousands of ICs on each wafer with more than 100,000 wafers processed per month.”

Here is a table highlighting progress over the years:



Price per chip



Price per 1,000 transistors



Number of transistors per chip



Minimum feature size on chip

10,000 nm

14 nm

                            From SEMI infographic “Why Moore Matters”:

SEMI has released a series of infographics on the topic “Making Small Things Makes Big Things Possible”:

SEMI is the global industry association serving the nano- and micro-electronic manufacturing supply chains. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets, and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, DC.

About the Author

Rick Nelson | Contributing Editor

Rick is currently Contributing Technical Editor. He was Executive Editor for EE in 2011-2018. Previously he served on several publications, including EDN and Vision Systems Design, and has received awards for signed editorials from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He began as a design engineer at General Electric and Litton Industries and earned a BSEE degree from Penn State.

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