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October 07, 2015

Moore's Law in a Bind

We are getting to the point where wireless speeds and feeds are finally making real time connectivity valuable. Strangely it’s coming at a time when Moore’s Law is hitting some problems with the physics of silicon. The result is that we are no longer doubling every 18 months and not even every two years.

So where is the speed coming from? While the chip manufacturers explore the benefit of new materials, the reality is that we are probably going to be doing more with meshing our processors.

This may be cloud computing, in-memory systems, Fog Computing and Web services, but the point is that processing needs to be optimized for future progression.

In some ways Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 is a case in point where a central control function looks for the optimal processor.

Unfortunately, it is going to take a lot for the paradigm to make the full shift and the combination of Cooper’s, Moore’ s and Metcalfe’s Law to develop the calculus that predicts processing power in the future.

What is likely to happen based on the history of innovators and their dilemmas is that at some point these separate camps are going to be distributed by a “eureka moment” where the parsing and the processing become singular in their nature.

Don’t get me wrong. We live in amazing times where a start-up can be worldwide for less than $200K. (Makes me wonder why we have $123 billion start-ups, per The Wall Street Journal). However, the reality of real physics is pushing change.  My personal belief has been very science fiction oriented. I came to the conclusion that analog will make a comeback at one point.

In the meantime expect a lot of bonded computing systems trying to overcome the physical limits with virtual connections.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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