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 Post subject: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:03 am 
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Last year we discussed Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku. Some of you joined us.

I was planning on seeing Michio speak in person last week at the Embedded Systems Conference in Silicon Valley, but was unable to do so because of my dad’s state of health.

I was planning on reporting on his speech for you--had I gone. But luckily EDA blogger Richard Goering was there and covered it better than I ever would have. Here is his take on Kaku’s keynote speech.
:-O


Physicist: Quantum Uncertainty May Stall Moore’s Law
By Richard Goering on April 29, 2010

The Embedded Systems Conference could hardly have found a more interesting keynote speaker than Dr. Michio Kaku, a well-known author and theoretical physicist who recently wrote a book entitled "Physics of the Impossible." As a frequent watcher of his programs on the Science Channel, I wasn't surprised when he talked about some amazing technology that's just a decade or two away.

I was somewhat surprised when he directly addressed Moore's Law, and suggested that quantum effects may halt its advance by 2020. "Unless we prepare for this," he warned, "Silicon Valley may become a rust belt."

Looking a Decade Out

First, the good news. Setting aside (for now) the really far-out stuff like interstellar travel, Dr. Kaku talked about some exciting technology that's on the near horizon. For example:

• Augmented reality will create a connected, virtual-reality like experience through goggles, glasses or smart contact lenses. You could potentially talk to a foreign language speaker and see subtitles, or envision a 3D building that doesn't exist yet, or have 360 degree vision around a car, or download content from the Internet during a final exam by simply blinking (this last possibility is not recommended).
• Flexible paper with embedded chips will create interactive wallpaper. You could watch a movie or play a card game with people anywhere in the world. In the office, disposable "scrap computers" made of flexible paper will become commonplace.
• Brain/computer interfaces will allow direct control over robots and computers. With a chip implant, paralyzed people will be able to interact with the world - in fact, this has already been done. "Telepathy will be the way we interact with machines in the future," Dr. Kaku said.
• Medicine will be revolutionized in multiple ways. Wireless sensor networks in bathrooms will detect early signs of disease. "Human body shops" will make it possible to generate organs from your own cells. Portable MRI machines will become tomorrow's "tricorders."

But What About Silicon?

But how are we going to build all this nifty stuff? The bad news, for those of us connected to the semiconductor industry, is that it may not be with silicon as we know it today.

Moore's Law tells us that compute power will double every 18 months as we move to lower process nodes. By 2020, Dr. Kaku believes, chips will cost a few pennies and will be everywhere - but Moore's Law will be in serious trouble. One reason is that heat generation will be so intense that "you could fry an egg on a chip." Stacking die into cubes won't really help, he said, because heat generation increases exponentially as we go down the process curve.

The second problem is quantum tunneling, which refers to a particle's ability to penetrate energy barriers. When feature sizes are merely 5 atoms across, Dr. Kaku said, "electrons leak out and you can't predict where they are." This is because of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which tells us that the location and velocity of a particle cannot be predicted simultaneously.

Dr. Kaku noted that work is ongoing on a number of silicon alternatives, including molecular computers, quantum computers, optical computers, and graphene sheets. But none of these are "ready for prime time." So the question remains - what will the new technologies he describes be built from?

A Reality Check

Long before quantum effects relegate further scaling to the "physics of the impossible," moving to the latest process node will be too expensive for many companies. SoC development costs at 32 nm are now estimated at $100 million, and 22 nm, with its requirement for double patterning, will be even more expensive. Yet we need billions of microscopic chips that cost pennies to bring about the inventions Dr. Kaku described.

How do we solve this problem? By easing hardware and software IP integration and lowering development and unit costs, the EDA360 vision articulated by Cadence earlier this week can help. EDA360 isn't looking at quantum or molecular computing - yet - but it may help us extend the life of silicon, and thus support the kind of innovation described in Dr. Kaku's fascinating keynote.

Richard Goering





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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:56 am 
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Amazing stuff.
I just re-read Parallel Worlds because many of the concepts have been stuck in my head - now it looks as if I have some serious catching up to do!
Thanks for the report; hope your Dad's doing better.


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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 11:23 am 
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Ok if he says so. :hypnotic: :lol: Does this mean we will be frying fish on our chips in the future.



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 11:59 am 
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Good one, shadowydog! :biglaugh:



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:50 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:04 pm 
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It's too bad you didn't get to attend in person, Liz. Thanks for sharing his remarks with us! :cool:



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:54 am 
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That was certainly enlightening. Kaku is certainly an optimist. I think he may be correct in the things that are coming but what he predicts in the next 10 years is astounding,

•Virtual-reality like experience through goggles, or envision a 3D building that doesn't exist yet,.
Yes I read that the first 3D televisons will be sold this year.

• Flexible paper with embedded chips will create interactive wallpaper.
Seems the next step from flat screens to wall paper.

• Brain/computer interfaces "Telepathy will be the way we interact with machines in the future," Dr. Kaku said.
I think this may happen for disabled who can afford it but 10 years is pretty fast for the rest of us.

• Wireless sensor networks in bathrooms will detect early signs of disease. "Human body shops" will make it possible to generate organs from your own cells. Portable MRI machines will become tomorrow's "tricorders."

10 year seems pretty optimistic for this. They can't even straighten out health care.

I hope to live long enough to see some of these things but I'm not counting on it in 10 years, especially for the masses. It is thrilling to see what he feels is coming.



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:27 pm 
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I agree, gemini, that 10 years seems a bit too optimistic. HOWEVER, a lot happened with regard to computers from 1985 to 1995. I think 20 years is more reasonable, though.

I thought what he said about telepathy was interesting because my brother-in-law said something similar a couple of years ago about how he thought texting would evolve into telepathy.



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Liz wrote:
I agree, gemini, that 10 years seems a bit too optimistic. HOWEVER, a lot happened with regard to computers from 1985 to 1995. I think 20 years is more reasonable, though.

I thought what he said about telepathy was interesting because my brother-in-law said something similar a couple of years ago about how he thought texting would evolve into telepathy.


They are, as we speak, experimenting with using brain waves to control devices to help the quadriplegics move and communicate with some demonstrative success. So this is possible.



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:59 pm 
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shadowydog wrote:
Liz wrote:
I agree, gemini, that 10 years seems a bit too optimistic. HOWEVER, a lot happened with regard to computers from 1985 to 1995. I think 20 years is more reasonable, though.

I thought what he said about telepathy was interesting because my brother-in-law said something similar a couple of years ago about how he thought texting would evolve into telepathy.


They are, as we speak, experimenting with using brain waves to control devices to help the quadriplegics move and communicate with some demonstrative success. So this is possible.


I read some reports about that too.

Thanks Liz for the information. Now this is another book in my to-be-read category.



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 11:08 pm 
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ForestByTheSea wrote:
shadowydog wrote:
Liz wrote:
I agree, gemini, that 10 years seems a bit too optimistic. HOWEVER, a lot happened with regard to computers from 1985 to 1995. I think 20 years is more reasonable, though.

I thought what he said about telepathy was interesting because my brother-in-law said something similar a couple of years ago about how he thought texting would evolve into telepathy.


They are, as we speak, experimenting with using brain waves to control devices to help the quadriplegics move and communicate with some demonstrative success. So this is possible.


I read some reports about that too.

Thanks Liz for the information. Now this is another book in my to-be-read category.

I just want to make sure that you know the story behind it and why we read it and discussed it here.....

In the wee hours of the morning on August 30, 2008 (after the Kids Concert at Club Cinema, Pompano Beach, FL), Johnny shared with Noodlemantra Charlene that he was currently reading Parallel Worlds: “It’s a bit scientific, but it’s good,” He said.



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 Post subject: Re: From Parallel Worlds to Disposable Computers - Michio Kaku Keynote
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 11:26 pm 
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Thanks Liz. Yeah, I read it from the thread "Why These Books?" on the ONBC board when saw the book title. I'm glad Johnny has such a wide reach of books. Love him for that.



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