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RE: RE: RE: RE: starship-design: Space Money

I found this in the Extropian FAQ:

The brain has something like 10^11 neurons with 10^3 synapses each with
a peak firing rate of 10^3 Hz, for a raw bit rate of 10^17 bits/sec. A
66 MHz, 64-bit chip has a raw bit rate of 4.2x10^9. You can buy about
100 complete PC's for the cost of one engineer, giving you about 4x10^11
bits/sec, or about a factor of a million less than a human brain. 

The performance/price ratio of computers has been doubling every two
years or so, and that rate has been pretty constant since ENIAC, so we
expect that in about 40 years, the total amount of brain-power available
(human + computer) will take a rapid jump upward. 

There is some concern that we are nearing some fundamental limits to
semiconductor technology, although recent price/performance changes are
exceeding the historical trend. Limits to the power of an individual
processor can be largely overcome via parallel processing.

On another note, there are some alternative technologies for making
chips around the corner which may help prevent us hitting the "wall".

David Levine                     david@actionworld.com
Director of Development    http://www.actionworld.com/
ActionWorld, Inc.                       (212) 387-8200
Professional Driver.  Closed Track.  Do not attempt.

> ----------
> From: 	KellySt@aol.com[SMTP:KellySt@aol.com]
> Technically we already market super computer with more capacity and
> power
> then teh human brain (estimated at about 14 tera flop/terabyte) and
> are doing
> R&D studies for systems in teh 1,000 Tera flop/byte range.
> Kelly