The Future of Computers
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 1:35 pm
Hey all, I'm reading through my January 2004 issue of PCWorld and have become facinated with the article titled "What's in Store for 2004- and beyond". So I think I will share a few interesting tid-bits with you that I am learning about. So below you will see a random list of thoughts and ETA's that are found in that PCWorld Article. Hope you enjoy!
Monitors and Graphics:
Monitors and Graphics:
- 15" LCD's have hit that supply vs. demand breaking point. Prices will be rising after Christmas sales, so if you want a 15" LCD monitor BUY NOW!
- OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) monitors may soon be in production and compete with LCD monitors in price!
- Right now graphic developers are way ahead of graphic hardware and can write complex shaders that could cripple the performance of a 9800XT. So look for graphics cards with 16, 32, or 64 parallel graphic pipelines in the next 5-years.
- Look for Intel to make its first BXT form factor motherboard in mid-2004. The new BXT form factor is designed to enhance the airflow throughout your case by using just 2 fans (one in front and rear of case) to push air across the CPU, chipsets, and memory.
- We have all heard of DDR2... and you should expect it to be available for sale in the first half of 2004 and will feature a data rate of about 4.3 gigabits per second per module. But what about DDR3 which will feature a data rate of about 6.4 gigabits per second per module? Well DDR3 is already being tested by high-end graphics card manufacturers!
- Today's processors use a 130nm fab process and can handle a max clock speed of about 3.2 GHz. Intel's next processor, the Prescott, will feature a 90nm fab process and should reach a max clock speed of about 4.0 GHz by the end of 2004 (at least that's the goal Intel has set before itself). Now where it gets even more interesting is when PCWorld said that the Prescott's successor, the Tejas, should reach a clock speed between 5 to 7 GHz and that either the the Tejas or Prescott will support 64-bit applications!
- To get things even more interesting, researchers are already building chips using a 65nm process, and IBM and AMD are already developing a 45nm process! Now once the 45nm process is reached, new manufacturing methods will need to be used. Currently chips are made by using ultraviolet lithography which focuses light to carve circuits in a silicon wafer. Around 2009, (I'm guessing this is when the 45nm fab process is supposed to be reached) chipmakers will have to switch to a new process called Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography which uses Xenon gas instead of light. This new method is estimated to shrink the size of circuits by a factor of 10! By 2013, analysts predict that chipmakers will reach the "max-shrink" point where they will not be able to use silicon to increase performance!... *sniff*... they will have to find another new method between now and 2013 in order to continuously increase CPU performance or 2013 will be the end of processor manufacturers!
- PCI Express will replace AGP 8X slots because it will double the data rate between the graphics card and the system memory. Intel believes PCI Express has the potential to reach data rates of 80GB/sec whereas AGP 8X has a max of 2GB/sec.
- SATA hard drives are expected to consist of about 30% of hard drive sales in 2004 and about 70% of sales in 2005!
- Don't expect hard drives to increase in size in the immediate future, but Maxtor has recently found a new way data can be stored magnetically on its platters. Drives today store data in a longitude manner on the circular disks, but the new way, perpendicular to the circular pattern, allows a much higher density of data to be stored. Drives using this method are expect to reach capacities as high as 700GB!
- HOWEVER, Seagate has demonstrated HAMR technology that uses a laser to heat the spot on the disk being written in order to make it easier to orient magnetically. Seagate claims this new technology can be used to store as much as 50 terabytes of data per square inch! HS!