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May 17, 2010

CPU Transistor Count Over Time

I recently had to generate a graph for Moore’s Law which plots CPU transistors over time, I thought the end result looked interesting so I wanted to share it:

The line is a bit more varied than most you see because I included AMD, Cyrix, and a few other CPU vendors. I also noticed that some of the data I was using included onboard cache in the transistor count and some didn’t. However, I think the graph is interesting because it does show how we’ve roughly doubled the transistors on processor every 18 months-2 years as Moore predicted. Of course, we’ve stopped increasing our speed and now we’re focused on driving more cores onto the chips – and therefore forcing developers to think about multi-threading their applications.

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