We Have Reached the Limits of Computing Power, Says Supercomputer Expert
Some of the world's leading engineers and physicists believe we are about to reach the limits of computing power, requiring a fundamental technological shift which we have yet to imagine.
What's the Latest Development?
Due to some rather strict physical constraints, the kind that come when working with atoms, we have nearly reached the limits of computing power, says High Performance Computing expert Thomas Sterling. The last major computing milestone was achieved in 2008 when the Los Alamos' Roadrunner supercomputer reached petascale computing, or a quadrillion (10^15) floating point operations per second. But Sterling says we are unlikely to achieve Exascale computing (10^18 FLOPS) "without ripping apart our existing ways of building supercomputers, root and branch."
What's the Big Idea?
Since the dawn of the supercomputer, the world's best engineers have been able to create a next-generation machine with 1,000 times the power of its predecessor in cycles lasting about eleven years. The trend follows Moore's Law, which states that computer power doubles roughly every 18 months. Like Sterling, physicist Michio Kaku also predicts that we will reach the end of Moore's law within ten years. After that, we will transition to 3-dimensional chips, and eventually to quantum computers by the end the of the 21 century.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
What do the inventions of the future look like?
- Self-sustaining space colonies and unlimited fusion energy would bring humanity to a new point in our evolution.
- Flying cars and robot butlers could be the next paradigm shift in our tech appetite for change.
- Death and consensus reality might soon become obsolete.
A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.
- Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
- If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
- It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.