It is a mistake, however, to view Moore’s law as a prophesy based on scientific phenomena that are doomed in the face of immutable laws of physics. If truth be told, Moore’s law was never anything more than an economic rule of thumb that morphed into a self-fulfilling axiom about process engineering. Essentially, it was more a way of scheduling manufacturing targets than a means for forecasting the performance of future processors. As such, Moore’s law has served as a metronome that lets Intel set the tempo of product announcements—and thereby encourages computer makers to keep coming back every couple of years for ever-more-powerful processors. Like it or not, the rest of the semiconductor industry, usually a node or two behind, has been obliged to follow Intel’s lead.