Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By The Daily Reckoning (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

When Small Becomes Huge

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 12:11
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

This post When Small Becomes Huge appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Do you like your iPhone?

Today, you are walking with the equivalent of what was a supercomputer not too long ago — in your pocket.

You’re probably reading this on your smartphone right now, aren’t you?

If there’s one trend that’s driving every other trend, it’s the drive to be small.

All the emerging trends in powerful mobile computing, augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence hinge on what Intel co-founder Gordon Moore first described 51 years ago.

Moore noticed an interesting trend back in 1965. Over time, the amount of transistors you could pack on a piece of silicon was going up, while the cost per transistor was going down.

Approximately every two years or so, improvements in semiconductor manufacturing technology meant that we could double the amount of computing elements on a chip. The more elements, the more powerful the chip. And the more powerful the chip, the more you could do with it.

Importantly, these faster chips were getting cheaper too.

And that’s how it’s been ever since.

Gordon Moore nailed one of the most important technological trends of the past half-century. This trend has supported or enabled every major technological change we’ve enjoyed over this period of time.

Our entertainment and communications were transformed by cheap and ubiquitous computing power. We ditched the cathode ray tube television set and went with high-resolution flat screens thanks to semiconductor technology. And it wasn’t all that long ago that we lacked smartphones and PCs, with all of their potential to deliver media content to us.

This trend has helped improve our health. Cures to age-old diseases have been found thanks to more powerful silicon chips. These chips can be used to help sequence the human genome and model the activity of human cells.

Even older industries like energy have been completely transformed. The price you pay at the pump would be far higher if geologists and oil companies couldn’t precisely sense and model what a formation underground looks like… this requires high-performance computing.

But we’re hitting limits with how small we can make these different components.

In fact, over the past several years, it’s become harder and harder to shrink the manufacturing process.

But it isn’t going to be the end of improvement in processing power.

In fact, the smartphone you buy in 2025 is going to be more powerful than a professional workstation you might be using today. Not only more powerful in terms of processing power but also in terms of memory.

Plus, just as we’ve seen for decades, you’ll get more bang for your buck.

The market demands more memory, and faster memory. That’s you. You want to have lots of browser tabs open, listen to music and have the ability to run AR and VR applications. You also want enough storage to keep all your pictures, songs and files safely and conveniently stored.

And you probably want to be able to do it in something small enough to carry in your pocket.

Big Data needs fast storage. Even with more powerful processors, you aren’t going to get very far if you can’t access data on a hard drive fast enough. It becomes a bottleneck.

The market keeps growing. Demand for computer chips keeps going up, be it for microprocessors, memory or storage. All the big trends you’ve heard about, from Big Data to the Internet of Things to the continued growth in the smartphone and AR/VR market… all of them are driving demand for more equipment to build out their electronic guts.

Plus, there’s more than growth in this industry: These chip companies are always in a race to keep up with Moore’s law, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. The one that doesn’t manage gets left in the dust by the rest of the pack.

That means they are always in need of upgrades. Whenever semiconductor manufacturers need to shrink their process, they need to buy the equipment to do it. That makes select companies who can supply chip foundries with the latest and greatest fabrication technology very attractive right now.

To a bright future,

Ray Blanco
for The Daily Reckoning

Ed. Note: The most entertaining and informative 15-minute read of your day. That describes the free daily email edition of The Daily Reckoning. It breaks down the complex worlds of finance, politics and culture to bring you cutting-edge analysis of the day’s most important events. In a way you’re sure to find entertaining… even risqué at times. Click here now to sign up for FREE.

The post When Small Becomes Huge appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

This story originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning . The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.