LAST CENTURY’S BIG STORIES: MOORE’S LAW & INTERNET

January 5, 2001

by Ed Rosenfeld, eintelligence com

San Diego, CALIF. — As the century and the millennium draw to a close, two parallel threads have emerged as the most significant themes in advanced communications and computing technology. The development of the transistor, and its exploitation in ways that have become known as Moore’s law, has enabled us to imbue “intelligence” (of sorts) in objects. The development of the Internet has enabled the resultant computational skills to be distributed globally, with a potential to reach the vast majority of people everywhere.

These two juggernauts are shaping the future of computing, bringing far reaching changes to many aspects of daily life in the industrialized world. Now, as the planet seems poised to extend new connections into the cybersphere, developments in the Internet, and the continued progress along the path of Moore’s Law (where the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 to 24 months, yet the price of those chips remains relatively stable), are combining to shrink the space between humans and machines.

Moore’s Law is having the most significant ride in the history of the Industrial Revolution. Though it seems to be approaching fundamental limits, the definition of “fundamental” is reorganizing in real time, with new techniques like EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography), ultrashort-wavelength X-rays and nanotechnology already making future progress in Moore’s Law discernible, perhaps for more than a decade into the new century.

The relentless flow of progress in the field of transistors shows no sign of derailing. Its working on the most fundamental levels possible, moving from the bottom up. The general philosophical approach is in line with those taken by the late physicist Richard Feynman, when he outlined nanotechnology, noting “There’s plenty of room at the bottom,” and, by Carver Mead, the co-inventor of the VLSI chip process and the developer of analog VLSI, an approach used for neural network chips, who often times counsels to build systems “from the bottom up.”

At fundamental levels, the result is improving transistors, the building blocks of Moore’s Law. Many, in various and diverse fields, are encouraging through their discoveries the continued improvement and application of transistor technologies. The best recent results were presented at the IEEE International Electron Devices conference, held early this month in San Francisco. It was at IED that Intel and IBM made major announcements about breakthroughs in chip technologies.

Intel’s was a dramatic pronouncement about extending Moore’s Law by developing prototype 0.03-micron transistor gates. This will enable it, the company said, to build 0.07-micron transistors in five years. Other ways of expressing this measure would be to say the gates are eight angstroms or 30 nanometers or three atoms wide, approaching the size of DNA strands.

In 2005, the company predicts, it will use these chip making capabilities to make computer microprocessors that are made from 400 million transistors on each chip and can operate at speeds of 10 GigaHertz. Intel’s current offering on the market, the Pentium 4, has 42 million transistors on each chip and can run at speeds of 1.5 GHz.

Intel is currently making chips at the 0.18-micron level, and will move to the 0.13-micron level next year, and by 2003 be producing 0.10-micron chips. CNET News.com quoted Gerald Marcyk, Director of Intel’s Components Research Lab: “The trend line is continuing. We are not hitting a brick wall. One of the big worries was whether silicon oxides would work at this level.” InfoWorld.com quoted Intel’s Manny Vara, noting that the company intends to shrink the size of its processor transistors every other year by at least 30 percent. At this rate it will reach about 0.05-micron chips by 2007. Vara said the size of relays used in accompanying chip sets will “ramp just as quickly.”

Intel said that it believed that in five years these 0.07-micron chips would enable real time computation of speech, allowing for real time translations of conversations from one language to another, real time reactions to verbal commands and the like. Other applications envisioned for 10 GHz chips include enhanced search capabilities for massive databases and a variety of advanced and real time imaging and video capabilities.

The IBM announcement, about its CMOS 9S package, focused on its incorporation of several advanced chip making and manufacturing capabilities, including: copper wiring, SOI (silicon on insulator) transistors, and another improved insulation technology, which it refers to as “low-k dielectric”.

The company cited potential applications in ASR (automatic speech recognition), wireless video and fingerprint and other kinds of recognition and identification. These new chip-making techniques will enable IBM to produce 0.13-micron chips in a few months. IBM said chips in the CMOS 9S package will begin to ship early next year. Intel will not move to the 0.13-micron chip level, or to copper wiring in its chips, until late 2001. Reuters quoted Bijan Davari, IBM’s vice president of technology and emerging products: “Our new chip-making recipe integrates more complex, high performance ingredients onto a chip than ever before.”

Also at IED, researchers from Purdue U, the U of FL and Los Alamos National Laboratories/ Motorola presented a paper on simulations of “The Ballistic Nanotransistor,” describing double-gate transistors. The results of the simulations predict that these kinds of devices can continue to perform well at transistor gate lengths as short as 10 nanometers.

Purdue’s Mark Lundstrom notes: “That means, if we could learn how to manufacture a device like this, we could extend Moore’s law to the year 2025.” Researchers at Purdue, U of CA, Berkeley and IBM’s Watson Research Center have already demonstrated working double-gate transistors. At IED, Lundstrom announced that the simulation tool used in the research, called nanoMOS, will be available to the research community via the http://www.nanohub.purdue.edu website. “We want to accelerate progress in nanoelectronics by making this tool available to everyone,” he said.

Commenting on the relentless march of transistors, David Coursey wondered on CNET’s ZDNet News whether all the speed and power of these new chips is wasted without a concomitant amount of broadband access: “Most people have more megahertz than they can really use. The slow sales of this year’s Christmas computers seem to bear that out. While they have the megahertz, [they] don’t have the multi-megabit Internet connections they need. And for all the talk, those connections are years away for most Americans.

“I say ‘yet’ because I think this is just a speed bump for the importance of Mr. Moore’s [L]aw. As bandwidth increases, people will find cool things to do with it and applications will catch up to the power available to them. Then we will need new computers, and all will be right with the hardware companies again.”

In the other big story of the decades, the Internet became a major cultural force by presenting usable standards (TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML, etc.) that totally changed the nature of computing, which, for the most part had been based on proprietary approaches before the net’s ascendancy. The net puts everything everywhere for everybody. Such inclusiveness, and some of the ease of aggregation and usage that it fosters, holds out the promise that computers and other computational appliances may well become useful to billions of people within the next decade or so.

This kind of ubiquity will replace the computing cabals and priesthoods of the past decades. When everything is on the net and the net is always on, usefulness of computing will reach new heights. As the net enables computing to combine with other systems, especially telecommunications, function will move to the foreground and process will move to the background, toward invisibility. The focus on operating systems, or systems’ bus architectures, and the like will whither away.

One of the greater net mysteries is the continued success of what could be called the “Malone gambit”. John Malone has convinced Michael Armstrong of AT&T, as he did Ray Smith of Bell Atlantic before, that there is a business that can be built simply on net transmission and infrastructure build out. It would make sense that huge telecommunications near monopolies, like AT&T and Bell Atlantic would bring the correct financing to the potential new net environment.

But, despite the presence of that financing, neither company has been successful in following Malone’s gambit. Bell Atlantic retreated from a merger with Malone’s TCI, Liberty Media and related companies, choosing instead, later to combine with NYNEX to form Verizon. At AT&T, Armstrong decided that all the old telephony businesses of the original Ma Bell, were not sexy enough for the new net age. He and his executive crew ignored the best intelligence about what was about to happen to the net and his company. David Isenberg ( http://www.isen.com ) coined a new phrase around his understandings of that environment: the stupid network.

Instead, Armstrong pushed to turn AT&T into a cable television powerhouse. He succeeded in acquiring a formidable group of cable companies, but failed in making it and other disparate elements of the AT&T company into a compelling and profitable business.

Despite all this, Malone has, seemingly, made more successful choices, except for his AT&T equity shares. He and his companies own major and minor stakes in many of the content businesses that will probably prosper when broadband access becomes ubiquitous, though that may be as much as a half decade away. To quote David Coursey again: “Huge bandwidth is, forgive the pun, just a pipe dream for most people. And the broadband we really need is bigger than what’s even being offered today, so add some more time to the equation. Remember how long it took for ‘everyone’ to get cable television?”

Recent headlines about the still emerging net serve well to indicate many future directions. Lou Gerstner, Chairman and CEO of IBM told a recent net industry audience that privacy is the paramount net public policy issue of our time. Among his recent remarks, quoted by Reuters:

“Paramount among all these policy issues, especially in the near term, is one – privacy. Through our policies and practices, industry has to send an unambiguous message that tells people: ‘You can trust us. You have choices. They will be respected. And, you’ll know in advance how any information you give us will be used.’ If we do not act responsibly, we risk choking off this amazing – but very young, very fragile – economic engine.”

Gerstner pointed especially to several problem areas on the horizon and already a threat: the move by automakers to equip every car with net connectivity, meaning that movements of those cars can be monitored. With respect to medical information, he asked, “Who has access to real-time data on your heartbeat, blood pressure and cholesterol level? Your doctor? Your insurance company?”

Plans are now being enacted to assure further research and development of the wireless net as well as the use of the net to create intelligent infrastructures, as the state of California agrees to fund Larry Smarr’s latest R&D shop at UCSD.

The hot market in net hardware is for net-connected cell phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and appliances. This does not mean that PCs and workstations will disappear, just that these new devices will rather quickly build large followings. BusinessWeek’s Stephen H. Wildstrom points out that these devices will all benefit from the new Netscape 6 web browser, which will deliver more complete web functionality to devices that, in the past, had to depend on underpowered browsing software systems.

Other trends indicate the net will be even more full of up-to-date data than ever before. Add to dynamic HTML (allowing web pages to be dynamically updated without full reloading), XML (allowing diverse data to be tagged and easily added and linked to web pages), and other new standards. Very exciting is the recent introduction of new web crawling in the news sector, by sites like http://www.moreover.com and http://www.net2one.com . These sites update news and other breaking stories hourly, before the usual search engines do. (The latter often take weeks to complete their sweeps of net content.)

Also in the future of the net, perhaps, are plans to split the great network connectivity system in two, so that one part would be able to supply “reliable” services. This was, in essence, the proposal made early this month by Richard Clarke, a senior official at the U.S. National Security Council. Charles Cooper of ZDNet News reports that Clarke “told a gathering of privacy officials in Redmond, WA, that the best way to insure Internet security for commercial transactions and government agencies was to bifurcate the Internet [with] a ‘secure zone’ that would be outfitted to offer protection against cyber-disruptions.”

What was hoped for in the founding desires of this newsletter, since 1984, included: ease of use, ubiquity, invisibility, user-centric delivery and availability of function, e.g., communications, writing texts, making images, storing information, etc. A great deal of what was envisioned has come to pass, though most often in ways that are not at all the way imagined, and, often times in ways that are not entirely satisfactory. But, the rapid progress in transistor and Internet technologies has enabled and powered these changes. Continued promise and progress in these technologies indicates that these desires will be even better fulfilled in years to come.

— This article appears courtesy of and copyright Edward Rosenfeld, http://www.eintelligence.com/ . The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of the publisher of HPCwire.

============================================================

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Supercomputers Take to the Solar Winds

June 5, 2020

The whims of the solar winds – charged particles flowing from the Sun’s atmosphere – can interfere with systems that are now crucial for modern life, such as satellites and GPS services – but these winds can be d Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC in O&G: Deep Sea Drilling – What Happens Now   

June 4, 2020

At the beginning of March I attended the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. That seems a long time ago now. It’s a great event where oil and gas specialists join with compute veterans and the discussion tell Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

NCSA Wades into Post-Blue Waters Era with Delta Supercomputer

June 3, 2020

NSF has awarded the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) $10 million for its next supercomputer - named Delta – “which will kick-start NCSA’s next generation of supercomputers post-Blue Waters,” Read more…

By John Russell

Dell Integrates Bitfusion for vHPC, GPU ‘Pools’

June 3, 2020

Dell Technologies advanced its hardware virtualization strategy to AI workloads this week with the introduction of capabilities aimed at expanding access to GPU and HPC services via its EMC, VMware and recently acquired Read more…

By George Leopold

Supercomputers Streamline Prediction of Dangerous Arrhythmia

June 2, 2020

Heart arrhythmia can prove deadly, contributing to the hundreds of thousands of deaths from cardiac arrest in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, many of those arrhythmia are induced as side effects from various medicati Read more…

By Staff report

AWS Solution Channel

Join AWS, Univa and Intel for This Informative Session!

Event Date: June 18, 2020

More enterprises than ever are turning to HPC cloud computing. Whether you’re just getting started, or more mature in your use of cloud, this HPC Cloud webinar is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insights and knowledge to help accelerate your HPC cloud projects. Read more…

Indiana University to Deploy Jetstream 2 Cloud with AMD, Nvidia Technology

June 2, 2020

Indiana University has been awarded a $10 million NSF grant to build ‘Jetstream 2,’ a cloud computing system that will provide 8 aggregate petaflops of computing capability in support of data analysis and AI workload Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NCSA Wades into Post-Blue Waters Era with Delta Supercomputer

June 3, 2020

NSF has awarded the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) $10 million for its next supercomputer - named Delta – “which will kick-start NCS Read more…

By John Russell

Indiana University to Deploy Jetstream 2 Cloud with AMD, Nvidia Technology

June 2, 2020

Indiana University has been awarded a $10 million NSF grant to build ‘Jetstream 2,’ a cloud computing system that will provide 8 aggregate petaflops of comp Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

COVID-19 HPC Consortium Expands to Europe, Reports on Research Projects

May 28, 2020

The COVID-19 HPC Consortium, a public-private effort delivering free access to HPC processing for scientists pursuing coronavirus research – some utilizing AI Read more…

By Doug Black

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Boosts Deep Learning Accuracy on Memristive Chips

May 27, 2020

IBM researchers have taken another step towards making in-memory computing based on phase change (PCM) memory devices a reality. Papers in Nature and Frontiers Read more…

By John Russell

Hats Over Hearts: Remembering Rich Brueckner

May 26, 2020

HPCwire and all of the Tabor Communications family are saddened by last week’s passing of Rich Brueckner. He was the ever-optimistic man in the Red Hat presiding over the InsideHPC media portfolio for the past decade and a constant presence at HPC’s most important events. Read more…

Nvidia Q1 Earnings Top Expectations, Datacenter Revenue Breaks $1B

May 22, 2020

Nvidia’s seemingly endless roll continued in the first quarter with the company announcing blockbuster earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Nvidia Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

Contributors

Tech Conferences Are Being Canceled Due to Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Several conferences scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, including Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) and the Strata Data + AI conference, have Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Exascale Watch: El Capitan Will Use AMD CPUs & GPUs to Reach 2 Exaflops

March 4, 2020

HPE and its collaborators reported today that El Capitan, the forthcoming exascale supercomputer to be sited at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serve Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray to Provide NOAA with Two AMD-Powered Supercomputers

February 24, 2020

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week announced plans for a major refresh of its operational weather forecasting supercomputers, part of a 10-year, $505.2 million program, which will secure two HPE-Cray systems for NOAA’s National Weather Service to be fielded later this year and put into production in early 2022. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This