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Moore's Law vs Rock's Law

 , updated on May 19, 2016
Moore's Law is the prediction that processor speeds double every 18 months. Rock's Law is the prediction that the cost for factories to produce processors doubles every four years. Both predictions were made in the 1960s and have proved remarkably accurate.
At some point it is believed that Moore's Law and Rock's Law will collide resulting in a slowdown in the growth rate of processor speed. Moore's Law results in declining costs per unit for processors and Rock's Law results in increasing capital costs to product a new line of processors. At some point, the speed increases will not be worth the massive capital investment in R&D, testing and manufacturing facilities required to produce a new processor. In other words, Moore's Law may go into decline as a result of slowing investment in semiconductor chip fabrication plants.


Observers have questioned both Moore's Law and Rock's Law. Moore's Law may run into technical limitations as soon as 2025 as transistors approach the size of atoms. Rock's Law also shows signs of waning as the high cost of semiconductor chip fabrication plants has driven innovation to reduce capital costs.
Moore's Law vs Rock's Law
Moore's LawRock's Law
DefinitionProcessor speeds double every 18 months.The cost of semiconductor chip fabrication plants doubles every 4 years.
ResultDeclining unit costsIncreasing capital costs


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