Massively Parallel & Infinitely Tiny
January 31, 2012 2:15 PM Subscribe
posted by I've wasted my life (31 comments total)
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While Moore's Law
continues to drive consumer and manufacturer expectations of technological advancement, frequency scaling
has given way to parallel scaling and our most visible indicator of ever increasing transistor density is ever multiplying cores. Welcome to the Parallel Jungle
where heterogeneous cores and ultimately the cloud offer far faster growth rates in parallelism than even described by Moore's Law.
Meanwhile, progress in software algorithms
(especially important for the utilization of parallel processing) has been shown to also outpace Moore's Law. One example:
". . . a benchmark production planning model solved using linear programming would have taken 82 years to solve in 1988, using the computers and the linear programming algorithms of the day. Fifteen years later – in 2003 – this same model could be solved in roughly 1 minute, an improvement by a factor of roughly 43 million."
It's not as if materials haven't been keeping up, either. IBM has announced
that it has reduced the amount of atoms required to store one bit of data from one million to twelve, or, at room temperature, closer to 150. On a similar scale, the University of New South Wales has created the worlds thinnest silicon wire
, only four atoms wide.
has a new competitor in the form of molybdenite
, a similar substance without the bandgap issues that plague graphene transistors. This means that as the physical limits of silicon are pursued, even now we have the ability to make transistors only 1nm in size. Graphene, not to be outdone, has demonstrated many new properties recently, including piezoelectric
and the ability to drastically improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries