Saturday, November 21, 2009

Computing Power Grows Times 10 Every 7 Years

Many people now know that you can get twice as much computing power for the same dollar two years from now as you can today. You can get twice as big a hard drive. Twice as fast a CPU. Every two years. Gordon Moore of Intel noticed this back around 1965. It's been roughly true ever since.

Moore counted the number of transistors that technology could put on a chip. Every 18 months to two years the number doubled.

Transistors on chips became smaller and smaller. Smaller, they were faster. Smaller, they were cheaper. Strangely, for a lot of non-chip computer resources - hard drives, blank CD disks, monitor screens - the price has also gone down at a similar rate.

If power doubles every two years, how many years does it take for computers to become ten times more capable?

In two years, capability doubles. At four years, capability doubles again to four times the starting level. At six years it doubles to eight times. At eight years, capability doubles to sixteen times the original value.

Ten times larger is nearer to eight times than to sixteen, nearer to six years than to eight years. It would be safe to say that within seven years or less, computing power becomes ten times more powerful.

Data becomes ten times more accessible. Ten times as visible. Moves ten times faster.

A career in auditing should have a guaranteed future.

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