News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Computing Predictions – Update 05/04/04


I maintain a spreadsheet of predictions based on Moore’s laws and the trends I see in computing technologies. Today I reviewed my predictions and made necessary adjustments:

  1. Increased hard drive capacity from 0.40 to .50 by 07/01/04
  2. Decreased CPU speed from .0060 to .0040 by 07/01/04

Hard drive capacity is growing faster than I expected. So far, there is no word yet on when the first terabyte memory systems will reach commercial production, so I stick with my original prediction of an introduction early in 2006. CPU speeds are not increasing as quickly as I expected, but their complexity and density increases still follow Moore’s Law (speed is not considered a good indicator of a CPU’s abilities but has been an easy way to market advancement to consumers). With AMD’s Athlon64 doing extremely well and new technologies expected to hit Intel’s chipsets this summer, the recent perceived plateau in computing should come to a quick end.

I have not officially changed my predictions of expected highlights although I am very tempted to do so. Machine/Brain interfaces may come much sooner than I originally predicted, but there is an apparent lull in AI advancement.

In the technology cycle we are currently in a period of commercialization and normalization of existing technologies. Behind the scenes, research and development of advanced technologies continues as always and I expect 2006 to be an important commercialization year, much more so than even 2004 is shaping up to be. By 2006, terabyte memory systems should start revolutionizing how we use our computers, the Grid and the Mesh will both make important progress, and momentum will continue building for the second Internet revolution I see shaping up by the end of the decade.


Hard Drive


Terabyte Memory




Nano CPU




01/01/030.20TB00.0030THz64-bit0Graphical, Voice
07/01/040.5000.00400Graphical, VoiceMulti-gigabyte versions of terabyte memory systems released
01/01/061.005TB0.00800Voice, GraphicalTerabyte memory system replaces today’s memory subsystems
07/01/072.00100.01600Voice, Graphical, Gesture, Haptic
01/01/094.00200.03200Voice, Graphical, Gesture, HapticGRID and Mesh, computer size down to deck of cards
07/01/108.00400.06400Voice, Graphical, Gesture, Haptic, 3-D
01/01/1216.00800.12801THZ3-D, Voice, Gesture, HapticNano computers released, size shrinks from deck of cards to microscopic over next decade, AI entities emerge
07/01/1332.001600.256023-D, Voice, Gesture, Haptic
01/01/1564.003200.512043-D, Voice, Gesture, Haptic, AIAI/human general contact, AI-generated data feeds for humans
07/01/16128.006401.02408AI, 3-D, Voice, Gesture, HapticOptical Nano and/or quantum computers released
01/01/18256.001,280PB2.048016AI, 3-D, Voice, Gesture, Haptic, Brain interface“Downhandling” of data to human brain, embedded microscopic super computers
07/01/19512.002,5604.096032AI, 3-D, Voice, Gesture, Haptic, Brain interfaceAI/Brain interfaces replace all other interfaces (the rest become virtual interfaces used as necessary)
01/01/211024.005,1208.192064AI/Brain interfaceAI/Brain interface bottleneck recognized, medical approaches and body enhancement attempted
07/01/222048.00PB10,24016.3840128AI/Brain interfaceCommercial nano asssemblers
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