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Unformatted text preview: s as “spo o ky actio n at a distance”). P io neers in quantum co mputing include IBM, HP , NEC, and a Canadian start-up named DWave. If o r when quantum co mputing beco mes a reality is still unkno wn, but the pro mise
exists that while Mo o re’s Law may run into limits impo sed by Mo ther Nature, a new way o f
co mputing may blo w past anything we can do with silico n, co ntinuing to make po ssible the o nce
impo ssible. K E Y TAK E AWAYS
As chips get smaller and more powerful, they get hotter and present power‐management
challenges. And at some, point Moore’s Law will stop because we will no longer be able to shrink
the spaces between components on a chip.
Multicore chips use two or more low‐power calculating “cores” to work together in unison, but
to take optimal advantage of multicore chips, software must be rewritten to “divide” a task
among multiple cores. 3‐D transistors are also helping extend Moore’s Law by producing chips that require less power
and run faster.
New materials may extend the life of Moore’s Law, allowing chips to get smaller, still. Entirely
new methods for calculating, such as quantum computing, may also dramatically increase
computing capabilities far beyond what is available today. QU E S TI ONS AND E XE RC I S E S
1. What three interrelated forces threaten to slow the advancement of Moore’s Law?
2. Which commercial solutions, described in the section above, are currently being used to
counteract the forces mentioned above? How do these solutions work? What are the limitations
3. Will multicore chips run software designed for single‐core processors?
4. As chips grow smaller they generate increasing amounts of heat that needs to be dissipated.
Why is keeping systems cool such a challenge? What are the implications for a firm like Yahoo! or
Google? For a firm like Apple or Dell?
5. What are some of the materials that may replace the silicon that current chips are made of?
6. What kinds of problems might be solved if the promise of quantum computing is achieved? How
might individuals and organiz ations leverage quantum computing? What sorts of challenges
could arise from the widespread availability of such powerful computing technology? 5.3 Bringing Brains Together: Supercomputing, Grid
Computing, and Putting Smarts in the Cloud
L E A RN I N G OBJ E C T I V E S
1. Give examples of the business use of supercomputing, grid computing, and cloud computing.
2. Describe grid computing and discuss how grids transform the economics of supercomputing.
3. Understand the characteristics of problems that are and are not well suited for parallel
processing found in modern supercomputing and grid computing efforts as well as multi‐core
processors. As Mo o re’s Law makes po ssible the o nce impo ssible, businesses have begun to demand access to
the wo rld’s mo st po werf ul co mputing techno lo gy. Supercomput ers are co mputers that are
amo ng the f astest o f any in the wo rld at the time o f their int...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.
- Winter '14