Sunday, November 17, 2002

Prepare For Ludicrous Speed!

Computing power has increased at such a rate as to be almost incomprehensible. A new supercomputer, that can perform 35.86 trillion calculations per second was announced recently.The first computer invented in 1948 that had all of the functionality we would consider of a basic computer, performed 1 instruction ever 1.2 milliseconds, or approximately 833.33 operations per second.

So the new system is around 43 billion times faster than its ancestor. If the rate of speed increase were linear instead of geometrical, that would be an increase in computing speed of almost 91 thousand times, every hour. If this is true, in the next 50 years, computing speed will increase by a factor of at least 1,190,684,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Of course progression has indeed been geometrical, so we'll probably exceed that. One wonders when the limit will be reached. With the advances in medical science, we might be around to find out what it is like.