Rock's law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Rock's law or Moore's second law, named for Arthur Rock, says that the cost of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years.[1] As of 2003, the price had already reached about 3 billion US dollars.

Rock's law can be seen as the economic flipside to Moore's law; the latter is a direct consequence of the ongoing growth of the capital-intensive semiconductor industry—innovative and popular products mean more profits, meaning more capital available to invest in ever higher levels of large-scale integration, which in turn leads to creation of even more innovative products.

The semiconductor industry has always been extremely capital-intensive, with ever-dropping manufacturing unit costs. Thus, the ultimate limits to growth of the industry will constrain the maximum amount of capital that can be invested in new products; at some point, Rock's Law will collide with Moore's Law.[2][3][4]

It has been suggested that fabrication plant costs have not increased as quickly as predicted by Rock's law – indeed plateauing in the late 1990s[5] – and also that the fabrication plant cost per transistor (which has shown a pronounced downward trend[5]) may be more relevant as a constraint on Moore's Law.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ India Electronics & Semiconductor Association FAQs
  2. ^ Does Moore's Law Still Hold?
  3. ^ Moore's Law article by Bob Schaller
  4. ^ 2006 Chemical & Engineering News article on materials suppliers challenged by rising costs[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Rock's Law Fails to Hold

External links[edit]