Zeit·geist = spirit, essence of a particular time

A collection of food-for-thought posts and articles on technology, business, leadership and management. 

An End to Moore's Law: the Dawn of a New Computing Era

(continuation to: The Second Arms Race: Artificial Intelligence)

Many information technologies have evolved at exponential rate (Nagy et al, 2011), Moore’s law, stating the transistor count doubles every 2 years, has been at the core of causality for 50 years.

But this trend may not hold for much longer (Mack 2011, Lundstrom 2003) as per physical limitations of silicon, or, maybe we don’t see the forest for the trees.

•    There are limits to the exponential growth inherent in each paradigm. Moore’s law was not the first paradigm to bring exponential growth to computing, but rather the fifth. 

•    In the 1950s they were shrinking vacuum tubes to keep the exponential growth going and then that paradigm hit a wall. But the exponential growth of computing didn’t stop. 

•    It kept going, with the new paradigm of transistors taking over. Each time we can see the end of the road for a paradigm, it creates research pre, quest for the pressure to create the next one. 

 •    That’s happening now with Moore’s law, even though we are still about fifteen years away from the end of our ability to shrink transistors on a flat integrated circuit. 

•    We’re making dramatic progress in creating the sixth paradigm, which is three-dimensional (quantum) molecular computing. 

Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is near

The dawn of a new computing era: More than Moore MtM

Moore’s law will come to an end as a consequence of physical limitations of silicon; three dimensional quantum computing is poised to take over as the new paradigm. 

Quantum computing timeline:


•    Coherent superposition of an ensemble of approximately 3 billion qubits for 39 minutes at room temperature. The previous record was 2 seconds.


•    Documents leaked by Edward Snowden confirm the Penetrating Hard Targets Project, by which the National Security Agency seeks to develop a quantum computing capability for cryptographic purposes.

•    Scientists transfer data by quantum teleportation over a distance of 10 feet (3.048 meters) with zero percent error rate, a vital step towards a quantum Internet.


•    Optically addressable nuclear spins in a solid with a six-hour coherence time.

•    Quantum information encoded by simple electrical pulses.

•    Quantum error detection code using a square lattice of four superconducting qubits


Quantum computing promises to augment computing power a billion fold, however, we may not need to get there to develop a strong Artificial Intelligence, one that has the capacity to improve and evolve by itself.

The expectation is that soon after we reach a strong AI matching a human brain, the ability to replicate it rapidly and limitlessly will generate a self-improving general AI, which in turn would accelerate intelligence exponentially.


Next: An Explosion of Intelligence: The A.I. Arms Race