Rock's law

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Rock's law or Moore's second law, named for Arthur Rock or Gordon Moore, says that the cost of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years.[1] As of 2015, the price had already reached about 14 billion US dollars.[2]

Rock's law can be seen as the economic flip side 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.[3][4][5]

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[6] – and also that the fabrication plant cost per transistor (which has shown a pronounced downward trend[6]) may be more relevant as a constraint on Moore's Law.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FAQs", India Electronics & Semiconductor Association.
  2. ^,29058.html
  3. ^ Dorsch, Jeff. "Does Moore's Law Still Hold Up?", at the Wayback Machine (archived May 6, 2006).
  4. ^ Schaller, Bob (1996). "The Origin, Nature, and Implications of 'Moore's Law'", at the Wayback Machine (archived January 7, 2012).
  5. ^ Tremblay, Jean-François (2006). Riding On Flat Panels",
  6. ^ a b Ross, Philip E. (2003). "5 Commandments",

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