A couple of months ago I wrote a post discussing the quantum mechanical limit to Moore’s law, imposing a limit into how much faster computers can get with current semiconductor technology.
The New York Times published a pretty good overview of similar issues, from a more practical point of view.
“We’re at an inflection point, you better believe it, and most of the world is in denial about it,” said Mark Horowitz, a Stanford University electrical engineer who spoke last week at a chip design conference in Palo Alto, Calif. “The physics constraints are getting more and more serious.”
To MERCURY the Elder: On the most Learned Mercury the Younger.
Rest Maja’s Son, sometimes Interpreter
Of gods, and to us Men their Messenger:
Take not such Pains as thou hast done of old,
To teach men Hieroglyphics, and to unfold
Egyptioan hidden Characters, and how
Men writ in dar Obscurity : For now
Trithemius and Selenus both are grown
Such Cryptographers, as the scace will own
Thee for their Master ; and Decipherers know
Such secret Ways to write, thou ne’er didst show.
These are but Artists which thou didst inspire ;
But now thou of a Mercure art Sire
Of thine own Name, a Pst with whom the Wind.
Should it contend, would be left far behing.
Whose Message, as thy Metal, strikes the Gold
Quite through a Wedge of Silver uncontrol’d ;
And in a moment’s space doth pass as far
As from the Artick to th’ Antartick Star.
So proving what is said of Influence,
May now be said of his Inteliigence,
THey neither of them having such a Quality
As a relation to Locality :
No Places distance hindring their Commerce,
Who freely traffick through the Universe ;
And in a minure can a Voyage make
Over the Ocean’s universal Lake.
This Son of thine, could any Words or Praise,
his Learning, Worth or Reputation raise,
We should be Suitors to him to bestow
Encomius on Himselft, which we do own
Unto his Worth, and use that Eloqence,
Which as his own, must claim Preheminence :
For thee, ’tis Glory enough thou hast a Son
Or Art, that hath thy self in Art outdone.
-Sir Francis Kinaston, Knt