Thursday, January 26, 2012

The free lunch is over now welcome to the hardware jungle (link)

The good news is that Moore’s “local scale-in” transistor mine isn’t empty yet; it appears the transistor bonanza will continue for about another decade, give or take a half decade or so, which should be long enough to exploit the lower-cost side of the Law to get us to parity between desktops and pocket tablets. The bad news is that we can clearly observe the diminishing returns as the transistors are decreasingly exploitable – with each new generation of processors, software developers have to work harder and the chips get more difficult to power. And with each new crank of the diminishing-returns wheel, there’s less time forimage hardware and software designers to come up with ways to overcome the next hurdle; the motherlode free lunch lasted 30 years, but the homogeneous multicore era lasted only about six years, and we are now already overlapping the next two eras of hetero-core and cloud-core. Read more...