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Since the invention of the silicon chip, developments in processor and memory capacity have largely followed Moore's Law, named after one of the founders of the Intel company. Moore's Law states that the power (or capacity) of the process which manufactures silicon chips doubles roughly every 18 -24 months [Moore, 1997]. For a constant price, this means performance of a personal computer doubles on the same time scale. For a constant performance, this means that the price of a personal computer halves every two years.
At the time of writing (mid-1998), a typical entry-level desktop computer has a clock-speed of 233 MegaHertz (MHz). This means that every 244,318,208th of a second, a new instruction is executed by the CPU. Chips with speeds of 333MHz are already available, and speeds of 400 MHz are predicted by the end of 1998.
This phenomenal processing speed enables software manufacturers to introduce new features in the area of multimedia support and improved user interfaces (discussed below).
Last modified: Monday, 11-Dec-2017 14:41:26 AEDT
© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * http://andrew.treloar.net/ * email@example.com