Fifty Years of Moore’s Law Made Possible by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Suppliers Worldwide

SAN JOSE, Calif. — April 14, 2015 — April 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the business world’s most profound drivers, now commonly referred to as Moore's Law.  In April 1965, Gordon Moore, later co-founder of Intel, observed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits would continue to double every year.  This “observation” has set the exponential tempo for five decades of innovation and investment resulting in today’s $336 billion USD integrated circuits industry enabled by the $82 billion USD semiconductor equipment and materials industry (SEMI and SIA 2014 annual totals).

SEMI, the global industry association serving the nano- and micro-electronic manufacturing supply chains, today recognizes the enabling contributions made by the over 1,900 SEMI Member companies in developing semiconductor equipment and materials that produce over 219 billion integrated circuit devices and 766 billion semiconductor units per year (WSTS, 2014).

50 years of Moore’s law has led to one of the most technically sophisticated, constantly evolving manufacturing industries operating today.  Every day, integrated circuit (IC) production now does what was unthinkable 50 years ago.  SEMI Member companies now routinely produce materials such as process gases, for example, to levels of 99.994% quality for bulk Silane (SiH4) in compliance with the SEMI C3.55 Standard.  Semiconductor equipment manufacturers develop the hundreds of processing machines necessary for each IC factory (fab) that are at work all day, every day, processing more than 100 silicon wafers per hour with fully automated delivery and control – all with standardized interoperability. SEMI Member companies provide the equipment to inspect wafer process results automatically, and find and identify defects at sizes only fractions of the 14nm circuit line elements in today’s chips, ensuring process integrity throughout the manufacturing process. 

“It was SEMI Member companies who enabled Moore’s Law’s incredible exponential growth over the last 50 years,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI.  “Whereas hundreds of transistors on an IC was noteworthy in the 1960s, today over 1.3 billion transistors are on a single IC.  SEMI Member companies provide the capital equipment and materials for today’s mega-fabs, with each one processing hundreds or thousands of ICs on each wafer with more than 100,000 wafers processed per month.”

To celebrate SEMI Member companies’ contribution to the 50 years of Moore’s Law, SEMI has produced a series of Infographics that show the progression of the industry.




Price per chip



Price per 1,000 transistors



Number of transistors per chip



Minimum feature size on chip



From SEMI infographic “Why Moore Matters”:

Infographics: “Making Small Things Makes Big Things Possible”free to share! 

Help spread the word about how “Making Small Things Makes Big Things Possible”…  Please feel free to link to (links below), post, tweet, and share these graphics to your networks.  Printed copies are also available.

About SEMI

SEMI is the global industry association serving the nano- and micro-electronic manufacturing supply chains. Our 1,900+ member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Association Contact

Deborah Geiger
Phone: 408.943.7988

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