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Millicomputing: The Future In Your Pocket -



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Slides as pdf



The fastest moving part of the computer industry is now the compute power and storage capacity of the computers we carry in our pockets. The software we carry in our pockets is also migrating to a full featured flexible and openly programmable operating system. This talk discusses the multi-core graphical supercomputer for 2010 that won't burn your leg if you put it in your pocket, and implications of these changes, both for the personal computing space and the disruptive effect that this could have on the enterprise computing / green datacenter space. A millicomputer is a computer that uses less than one watt, and doesn't need heatsinks or fans.


The kind of power and storage provided by iPhone-class systems will increase by a factor for four to eight times over the next two years. The component maker roadmaps also show the addition of high performance 3D graphics, video stream processors, and several GFLOPS of floating point number crunching within the same 250 milliWatt power budget as todays millicomputer CPUs.


The power envelope of Intel's 64bit PC class system CPUs is also on a collision course with mobile devices over the next few years. Intel is working down into this space to compete with the ARM based CPUs that currently dominate battery powered pocket devices.


Each new wave of computing has liberated its users and become more pervasive. In recent history the desktop PC and phone tied to a wired network has been replaced by the wireless laptop and mobile phone. In the next wave, the boundaries between laptop and phone blur and disappear. They will both be capable of running the same operating systems and applications, and talk to the same networks. Everyone will be online all the time.


How will our lifestyle change? What are the new applications? What could we do with an always on high performance P2P mesh in our pockets? Thats the discussion I would like to have at BIL.


This talk was first given at HPTS in Pacific Grove last year, with an enterprise computing focus at CMG07 and will be presented with a mobile focus at EComm08 on March 14th.


Adrian Cockcroft was a Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect of High Performance Technical Computing at Sun Microsystems, Distinguished Engineer at eBay Research Labs, and is currently Director of Web Engineering at Netflix. He is also a member of the Homebrew Mobile Phone Club.