Last updated: August 1, 2011 - 8:55am
For decades, the power of computers has grown at a staggering rate as designers have managed to squeeze ever more and ever tinier transistors onto a silicon chip — doubling the number every two years, on average, and leading the way to increasingly powerful and inexpensive personal computers, laptops and smartphones. Now, however, researchers fear that this extraordinary acceleration is about to meet its limits.
The problem is not that they cannot squeeze more transistors onto the chips — they surely can — but instead, like a city that cannot provide electricity for its entire streetlight system, that all those transistors could require too much power to run economically. They could overheat, too. The upshot could be that the gadget-crazy populace, accustomed to a retail drumbeat of breathtaking new products, may have to accept next-generation electronics that are only modestly better than their predecessors, rather than exponentially faster, cheaper and more wondrous. Simply put, the Next Big Thing may take longer to arrive.
- A New ‘Law’ for the Mobile Computing Era
- Is the Internet Sustainable When Everyone On Earth Uses Over 3 Gigabytes of Data Per Day?
- Information explosion: how rapidly expanding storage spurs innovation
- WiFi wireless signals used to charge mobiles
- US Plans Supercomputer Push
- How mobility is stressing the chip industry
- New Mood in Antitrust May Target Google
- Bringing Efficiency to the Infrastructure
- The Law of Online Sharing
- Think Again: The Internet
- Stimulus Dollars Energize Efforts To Smarten Up the Electric Power Grid
- Energy’s 10-year plan to protect the power grid from cyberattack
- AT&T blocking cellular video calls made with new Google Android app
- Gore calls for new 'super grid' to deliver renewable energy
- 'Smart Grid' Raises Security Concerns