What if it Happened Again?
We sit here in our dazed, progress-drunk technology buzz looking back at the half-century rocket ride that transformed not only our industry and engineering profession, but also all of modern civilization. Nothing in recorded history has had as much impact on the world as Moore’s Law. It has re-shaped global culture, dramatically altered politics, and even affected fundamental aspects of the ways human beings work, think, feel, and relate to each other. If this weren’t the single biggest change driver in the history of civilization, it was right up there with democracy, monotheism, combining caramel and chocolate, and some other really heavy-hitters. Innovation in electronics has spilled over into just about every other aspect of our collective lives, and the change is profound.
But, what if it happened again - not in electronics this time, but somewhere else?
To answer that question, we should look at what caused Moore’s Law in the first place. It was a single innovation, really. Just one idea.
A Look at Key DDS Characteristics
The internet of things (IoT) is all about sensor data and communications. It involves some entity taking the data it receives, making some complex (or even simple) calculations, and then making decisions for the purposes of control or informing someone or something. Of course, there’s more than one way to do this.
The consumer IoT (CIoT) is all about sending the data – probably from your phone or wearable gadget, but, in the future, from various appliances in your home or elsewhere – up to the cloud, which acts as the brain of the system. It’s centralized and hierarchical.
PMICs and Biofuel Micro Trigeneration
In the venerable words of Kermit the Frog, "It's not that easy being green", but in this week's Fish Fry we're going to show you that being green may be getting a whole lot easier. We examine a new Micro Trigeneration Prototyping system coming out of the University of Newcastle that aims to cool, heat, and provide electricity to your home using unprocessed plant oils. Tom Sparkman (Spansion) and I also explore Spansion's super green new family of power management integrated circuits for energy harvesting targeted at the IoT market.
I held out as long possible before writing anything iWatch related. The irony is that I am iFatigued with everyone iGuessing about an iUnnanounced product, and yet here I am contributing to the noise. ¡iCaramba! The proverbial last straw: I read a piece comparing Microsoft’s unannounced wearable to Apple’s unannounced wearable. OMG.
And AFTER deciding to write this piece—but before I could start—another piece appeared with the declarative headline “Here’s Everything We Know About the iWatch.” And because I cannot make up stuff this good, apparently the things we KNOW include:
Why Everyone Around You Is An Idiot
If you sit and watch a busy street for any length of time, you’ll see a surprising number of bone-headed drivers, bicyclists, and even pedestrians. People walk straight into lampposts because they’re staring down at their phones. Drivers pull U-turns in the middle of traffic, run red lights, or head the wrong way down a one-way street. And bicyclists – especially those ones with Spandex logowear – weave in and out, oblivious to all traffic laws, as well as to basic self-preservation.
When did the world get populated with such bozos?
It has been ever thus. You and I sit at the far right edge of the Gaussian distribution (that’s “bell curve” for the less mathematically minded) for intelligence, right? Those other people? Not so much. It takes a lot of below-average people to average-out the better examples of humanity such as ourselves.
Are FPGAs Harbingers of a New Era?
The title may have put you off. In fact, it probably should have. After all, most of us in the press/analyst community have - at one time or another during the past decade or two - been walking around like idiots wearing sandwich signs saying, “The End is Nigh!” And, we got just about as much attention as we deserved. “Yawn, very interesting, press and analysts, and now back to planning the next process node…”
It gets worse. Predicting that Moore’s Law will end is pretty much a no-brainer. It’s about as controversial as predicting that a person will die… someday. There is obviously some point at which the laws of physics and the reality of economics will no longer allow us to double the amount of stuff we put on a single chip every two years. The question is - when will we reach that point, and how will we know we are there?