Computer Technology Progress Rates

(Revisited ten years later)




D

TECHNOLOGY

UNITS

1986

DOUBLE

PREDICTED

e

/yr

   

VALUE

LIFE

Jan. 1996

ARRIVED

%/yr

 

36%

Computer Memory Density

Mega-bits/chip

2

2      years

64

   

36%

Computer Chip Density

Gate equivalents

5 Ÿ 105

2      years

16 Ÿ 106

   

29%

Computer Chip Speed

Mega-hertz clock rate

10

2 years

160

   

48%

Computer Chip Power

Mega-instructions/sec

2

1 years

200

   

29%

Magnetic Linear Density

Bits/inch

2 Ÿ 104

2 years

32 Ÿ 104

   

20%

Magnetic Radial Density

Tracks/inch

1,000

3 years

7,000

   

48%

Magnetic Area Density

Mega-bits/inch2

10

1 years

1,000

   

36%

Fiber Optics Capacity

Bits/sec

1 Ÿ 108

2      years

32 Ÿ108

   

36%

Fiber Optics Distance

Kilometers w/o repeater

50

2      years

1,600

   

72%

Fiber Optics Performance

Tera-bit meters/sec

1

1      year

1,000

   


Notes:

VALUE is highest performance readily commercially available on a moderate to large scale.
  DOUBLE-LIFE is the time it takes for double the VALUE to appear on the market.
  Area VALUEs not necessarily the product because limits do not necessarily coexist independently.
  The cost half-life (time to halve) is, perhaps, 5 years.
  e (i.e., prediction error) % / yr is computed as:

        (( month of arrival of PREDICTED ) - Jan 1996 ) * 100 % / (( 10 years ) * ( 12 months / yr ))  .

 

© 1986, 1995, 1996 by James E. Cook




 


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