Every now and then I find the time to read those copies of The Economist magazine that stack up on my dining room table (yes, I do still read print because I find it is the most convenient way to read magazine articles while traveling). My interest was piqued by the title on the cover of the March 12th edition ”The Future of Computing.” Because I am in the computing business, I decided I should see what my future holds. It turns out the primary question the authors were trying to answer was what the computing world will look like as the pace of computer hardware advancements slow or level off.
Supposedly, Moore’s Law is coming to end. For 50 years, we as computer hardware consumers have always expected a significant increase in computing power each time we buy a new laptop, tablet, smartphone or desktop machine. However, as transistors approach the size of atoms, we are simply running into constraints dictated by the law of physics. There is no more room on these chips for any more components. In fact, for several years now the operating speed of high-end chips have plateaued—we just haven’t noticed.
So in addition to requiring us to develop more efficient software, the demise of Moore’s Law will only strengthens the need for more centralized cloud computing where processing power can be shared and distributed on-demand. Consequently, we can anticipate an increased need for high speed broadband to access these nodes of computing power. Hopefully, we will be ready and inclusive with a strong broadband infrastructure that doesn’t leave anyone behind.