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Wired, Wireless, Flash, Multi-Core
We are in the era of the biggest evolution in computers since the PC was introduced in the early 80s. However this time it is not one object that is making it so revolutionary, it is multiple that have allowed us to finally reach the potential of computing and the Internet. All designed to allow us to easily enjoy our life’s and to easy interact with each other. More than ever we can do this with a handful of new technology that have been released from about 2002 to now. These technologies are so revolutionary I am naming this the biggest evolution since the car, lol. Well maybe not that big – but close…
Number 4. Gigabit, Now 10Gigabit (10G), Even 100Gig Wired The theme of this article really seems to be everything in the industry is growing exponentially and like wireless, wired networking is no different. Although wired networking is not as interesting of a topic as wireless, it is here to stay. Wired is much more secure and reliable than wireless, it will take years for wireless to reach this point. So what’s the big news in wired, 10G baby!!! For years the 10/100 MBits/sec transmission rate was the standard of the industry. Then in 1999, 1000 MBit/sec or Gigabit Ethernet was released. A major change for a slow changing segment of the industry. Although it has not become popular until recently, it is now the standard on even average computer NIC cards. Then last year, 2006, 10GBit/sec was released. As of last month, Feb 2007, I have only heard of it being considered in server use as a backbone to the network. As everything it should be adopted throughout the industry in the next couple of years as long as 100gig doesn’t beat it out! Thats right 100GBit/sec is now in its preliminary discussions as the next Ethernet, still another 2 years away atleast.
Number 3. Wireless N – 802.11G has been the staple for wireless communication of wireless devices, however that is about to change. The much needed upgrade for wireless will be the new 802.11N or Wireless N, which has just reached Draft 2.0 on March 14th. With the release of this draft, most likely the last before the final standard is released, this technology has finally become usable. The Wireless N devices with previous drafts were nothing but problems, however Draft 2.0 has appeared to correct most of these issues. PC Mag reports that one final draft, Draft 3.0 will be released later in 2007 to early 2008 and the final release of Wireless N will be in 2009, however Draft 2.0 is more or less the bulk of what Wireless N will be ( PC Mag Article – Draft 2 of 802.11n Standard Sails Through ). So what is the big benefit with Wireless N, really just a major increase in distance and bandwidth – much needed in today’s day and age. Wireless N components will get a range of 165 feet with a bandwidth of 130 to 200 MBits/s compared to the 2003 release of Wireless G, the industry standard as of now, with a range of 82 feet with a bandwidth of 25 to 54 MBits/s.
Number 2. The Hybrid, Soon to Be Fully Flash Hard Drive – SanDisk is taking the lead with helping the computer industry with the computers biggest drawback, the hard drive. A hard drive is the computers biggest drawback not because of capacity, hell we can fit a terabyte of data NOW!, but speed. Mechanical components are the slowest operation with a computer and the only mechanical component left in a computer is the hard drive. Present hard drives require disk spinning 5,000 upwards to around 10,000 times a minute read by a arm. Although this seems fast, actual computer memory (RAM) is memory stored via electricity and transmitted the same way. So computer memory, AKA Flash memory is a million times faster than a hard drive. The writing was on the wall with Flash memory, AKA solid state memory, that it would one day replace the hard drive and change computing forever. Well that time is now with SanDisk now offering a 2.5-inch, 32 GIG drive for just $350 and soon will be offering a 1.8-inch, 32 GIG drive for ultra portable laptops for the hefty price of around $700! Now I know 32GIGs is not that much space and for $300-$700! This is just the start and soon we will be seeing near 100GIG drives that will be in every laptop. In the meantime, companies are now offering hybrid drives or drives that combine flash with a traditional Hard Drive so that frequent files are in flash memory and infrequent files are on the traditional drive, a good start to 100GIGs!
Number 1. Multi-Core Processing – It seems everyones eyes were on the Intel and AMD battle to make the fastest processor. They have gone from mhz to 2Ghz, then it hit 3Ghz, I wondered how many gigs they could possibly pack into a processor, while continuing to make it smaller. From pumping out 60mhz at a whopping 5 Volts in 1993 to 3.73ghz at a little above a volt in 2006, the single core Pentium seemed incredible! Then in spring 2005, it finally came the first multi-core processor, a processor die with multiple processors embedded on it allowing the processor to multi-task large task through individual processors. Intel released it’s “Smithfield” dual core processor as the Pentium Extreme Edition. The processor featured the first two in one processors with its hyper threading technology, or virtual dual processors. Packed with two physical and two virtual cores or processor, the extreme started at a whopping $1,000! Now dual core is the standard, shipping on just about 75% of computers sold. Last year was marked with Intel’s impressive Core Duo, Intel’s first low power dual core processor ideal for laptops. The processor was released in January 2006 and pumped out up to 2.33ghz at less than 25-watts. On top of that it was sized with Intel’s new and smallest processor size ever of 65 nm! It was so revolutionary it was the first processor to end the Pentium line of processors in existence since 1993! This years big hype was the Core 2 Duo, an even bigger improvement. The Core 2 increased the standard by bumping from the traditional 32-bit to the 64-bit. It also was the first quad core processor out, another leap in the industry. The “Kentsfield” Processor is the first true quad-core processor with a whopping 2.4Ghzs. I have really only seen them offered in servers so far, but expect them in the PC real soon! So what’s down the road in the next 3-5 years. Intel says a 45nm processor will be next years big release, then it will be about packing cores and shrinking the processor. By 2011 we can be looking at a 32nm or even 22nm processor packing in either 8 or a very big maybe of 16 cores! POWER BABY!
I know there is so many more advances in computers to talk about and offer my wisdom on such as Windows Vista, large LCD screens, and so much more; however with three busy jobs it is tough to go on. So I will soon follow up with a part II with these other big evolutions in computers. Have a happy and safe day.