September 01, 2010

Moore'e Law Revisited

The following NYT article is interesting ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/science/31compute.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general
People of course have been predicting the end of the Moore's Law since almost as long as Moore has predicted it. But it has been happily surviving all those dire predictions.

Today, science is faced with some seemingly fundamental scientific limits as it seeks to miniaturize chips and switching and data storage devices.

But as the article points out, perhaps solutions will yet be found using some quantum principle ... some offshoot of nanotechnology perhaps ... one is happy to hear exotic phrases such as memristers and what not ...

What a journey we have traversed in such a short span of time — from vacuum tubes to quantum computing. I think I indeed had vacuum tubes in the physics lab of my college during the days of my youth. Well, that might give the impression that I must surely be a doddering old 80-year-old gentleman looking 60 years back in time. But that would be a wrong impression.

My undergraduate days were from 1989 to 1991 only. So, the existence of vacuum tubes in the lab in those 'recent' days actually demonstrates how archaic India is.

But of course the communication revolution has meant that we have access now to MIT OpenCourseware stuff! So, in a way, many barriers are gone ...

All the wonderful stuff of science ... from Hubble images to Chandra images to the human genome to other biological projects to SETI@Home and EINSTEIN@Home ...

And now we can perhaps look forward to the day when we will have cellphone sized storage devices ... the sort of external hard disk which I have with a capacity of 500 GB ... soon, the capacity of that hard drive might increase to 500 petabytes ... which is 500,000 terabytes ... which is 500,000,000 gigabytes ... which is 500,000,000,000 megabytes ... which is 500,000,000,000,000,000 bytes ...

WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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