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[Salon] What happens when computers stop shrinking?

post #1 of 73
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Quote:
We have to ask: How long can this computer revolution last? If Moore's law holds true for another fifty years, it is conceivable that computers will rapidly exceed the computational power of the human brain. By midcentury, a new dynamic will occur. As George Harrison once said, "All things must pass." Even Moore's law must end, and with it the spectacular rise of computer power that has fueled economic growth for the past half-century.

Today, we take it for granted, and in fact believe it is our birthright, to have computer products of ever-increasing power and complexity. This is why we buy new computer products every year, knowing that they are almost twice as powerful as last year's model. But if Moore's law collapses -- and every generation of computer products has roughly the same power and speed of the previous generation -- then why bother to buy new computers?

Since chips are placed in a wide variety of products, this could have disastrous effects on the entire economy. As entire industries grind to a halt, millions could lose their jobs, and the economy could be thrown into turmoil.

Years ago, when we physicists pointed out the inevitable collapse of Moore's law, traditionally the industry pooh-poohed our claims, implying that we were crying wolf. The end of Moore's law was predicted so many times, they said, that they simply did not believe it.

But not anymore.
Source

A nice read.
 
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post #2 of 73
Hmm interesting. 50 years is a long time to predict. We have no idea whats happening that far down the road
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post #3 of 73
What happens if the computer stops shrinking? You shrink it some more!

Edit - if you did that though, you probably wouldn't be able to use it. We probably won't get any smaller than today's netbooks. If it were any smaller, we wouldn't be able to fit a keyboard that's big enough for our fingers to type on.
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post #4 of 73
Quantum computers ftw?
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post #5 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
What happens if the computer stops shrinking? You shrink it some more!

Edit - if you did that though, you probably wouldn't be able to use it. We probably won't get any smaller than today's netbooks. If it were any smaller, we wouldn't be able to fit a keyboard that's big enough for our fingers to type on.
My phone begs to differ... But you still have a very valid point
post #6 of 73
well once they cant skrink them, wont they just make them bigger by putting more stuff in them so they can process more at one time.....many we could end up have like 24-core chips or something.....?
post #7 of 73
Pretty interesting read. What if it started reversing, and the new trend was making things bigger?
post #8 of 73
I guess the porn business has been on the right track for awhile then


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugabuga View Post
Pretty interesting read. What if it started reversing, and the new trend was making things bigger?
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post #9 of 73
It's certainly true that the silicon age has its physics defined end, however, there are many new things on the horizon that will take up the mantle where our transistors leave off.
    
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post #10 of 73
My Computer has only gotten bigger.
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