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New Kind of Processor: Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip (Cade Metz)

It was December of 2012 and Doug Burger was standing in front of Steve Ballmer, trying to predict the future.Ballmer, the big, bald, boisterous CEO of Microsoft, sat in the lecture room on the ground floor of Building 99, home base for the company’s blue-sky R&D lab just outside Seattle. The tables curved around the outside of the room in a U-shape, and Ballmer was surrounded by his top lieutenants, his laptop open. Burger, a computer chip researcher who had joined the company four years earlier, was pitching a new idea to the execs. He called it Project Catapult.

The tech world, Burger explained, was moving into a new orbit. In the future…

Source: Microsoft’s Internet Business Gets a New Kind of Processor | WIRED

The Chips are down: The semiconductor industry will soon abandon its pursuit of Moore’s law. Now things could get a lot more interesting. (Mitchell Waldrop)

Next month, the worldwide semiconductor industry will formally acknowledge what has become increasingly obvious to everyone involved: Moore’s law, the principle that has powered the information-technology revolution since the 1960s, is nearing its end.

A rule of thumb that has come to dominate computing, Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a microprocessor chip will double every two years or so — which has generally meant that the chip’s performance will, too. The exponential improvement that the law describes transformed the first crude home computers of the 1970s into the sophisticated machines of the 1980s and 1990s, and from there gave rise to high-speed Internet, smartphones and the wired-up cars, refrigerators and thermostats that are becoming prevalent today…

Source: The chips are down for Moore’s law : Nature News & Comment

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