Computing's New Bottleneck: How to Disappear
Paul Otinelli, Intel's new CEO, addressed the Churchill Club for its 20th Anniversary gala. Otinelli touched on standard old problems emerging into dominant position:
Otellini did address the power consumption issue (see video clip), saying that "energy at the chip and system level is one of the critical things the industry needs to change." He citing the fact that for Google today, electricity costs outpace hardware costs..." (Berlind)As applications drift to the Web -- the ones we still associate with running locally on our fat, FAT client machines -- and as servers move from our own desktops and closets to the local or possibly far remote data center (as computing becomes so transparent that it actually seems to disappear), the engineering problems which fade and the others which impose themselves will naturally shift position.
Once, circuit dimensions sucked attention and now, clearly, power-consumption is attracting brain-power. As companies like Intel (AMD, IBM, Sun, to name friends) solve these problems, the costs per cpu or relative to some unit of user time or effort will fall, forcing yet new problems in both hard- and soft-ware to identify themselves.
As Web applications, by design, do even less work on aggregate than they did when they were hogging separate local machines, this is going to free up amazing quantity of low-power compute cycles which we will waste in interesting and inpredictable ways.
Perhaps by then everyone will have 5 blogs -- one for each day of the week.