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11 Jan 11:00am

We’re approaching the limits of computer power – we need new programmers now | John Naughton

The Guardian
Ever-faster processors led to bloated software, but physical limits may force a return to the concise code of the pastWay back in the 1960s, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, observed that the number of transistors that could be fitted on a silicon chip was doubling every two years. Since the transistor count is related to processing power, that meant that computing power was effectively doubling every two years. Thus was born Moore’s law, which for most people working in the computer industry – or at any rate those younger than 40 – has provided the kind of bedrock certainty that Newton’s laws of motion did for mechanical engineers. There is, however, one difference. Moore’s law is just a statement of an empirical correlation observed over a particular period in history and we are reaching the limits of its application. In 2010,
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