Breaking Moore’s Law

642px-Moores_law_(1970-2011)No law is more powerful or important in Silicon Valley than Moore’s Law — the simple idea that transistor density is continually increasing which means computing power goes up just as costs and energy consumption go down. It’s a clever idea we rightly attribute to Gordon Moore. The power lies in the Law’s predictability. There’s no other trillion dollar business where you can look down the road and have a pretty clear idea what you’ll get. Moore’s Law lets us take chances on the future and generally get away with them. But what happens when you break Moore’s Law? That’s what I have been thinking about lately. That’s when destinies change.

There may have been many […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 15 — Future Computing

minority-reportThere is so much wrong and yet a lot that’s right in this chapter, which was the last one in the original hardcover edition. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed by it or proud. How does computing today compare with my predictions from 1992? 

ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

FUTURE COMPUTING

Remember Pogo? Pogo was Doonesbury in a swamp, the first political cartoon good enough to make it off the editorial page and into the high-rent district next to the horoscope. Pogo was a ‘possum who looked as if he was dressed for a Harvard class reunion and who acted as the moral conscience for the first […]

The Day AT&T Learned Moore's Law (it's not when you think it was)

att_logo copyLast weekend a story in the New York Times blamed the bad reputation of AT&T’s wireless network on iPhone technical problems, not the AT&T network at all. Going further, Global Wireless Solutions, a network testing company, said the AT&T network is actually faster than Verizon’s, backing to a certain extent AT&T’s now-aborted legal effort to silence Verizon Wireless commercials that said otherwise. I doubt this is actually the case. Last summer as my family and I wandered across the United States in our old Winnebago motor home equipped with two iPhones from AT&T but also cellular data from Verizon, I can say with some certainty that Verizon coverage was consistently better, […]

By |December 16th, 2009|2009|131 Comments

Pictures in Our Heads

mindWe’re in the middle of a huge platform shift in computing and most of us don’t even know it.  The transition is from desktop to mobile and is as real as earlier transitions from mainframes to minicomputers to personal computers to networked computers with graphical interfaces.  And like those previous transitions, this one doesn’t mean the old platforms are going away, just being diminished somewhat in significance.  All of those previous platforms still exists.  And desktops, too, will remain in some form when the mobile conversion is complete, though we are probably no more than five years from seeing the peak global population of desktop computers.  We’d be there right now if we’d just figured […]

By |November 17th, 2009|2009|130 Comments