The Doubling of Exponential Technologies

The doubling of exponential technologies

By Salim Ismail

What we’ve been seeing over the past few decades can be summed up by Moore’s law, the observation that the number of transistors in a microprocessor doubles every two years.
The same can be said about computing power. Every two years it doubles, while the price gets cut in half.
The fascinating thing about this is that once you start doubling patterns, the trend doesn’t stop.
We’ve been doubling computational price performance for over 100 years.
Once you take a domain, discipline or industry area and you power it with information and technology then the price performance starts doubling.
If you have an information-based environment some other technology always comes along.
Essentially, Moore’s law will not stop.
But the challenge with exponential growth is that we cognitively do not see it.
All of our intuition and education about the world teaches us linear extrapolation.
Take 3D printing for example. It is actually 35 years old; it is not a new trend.
And yet people only started hearing about it around 2 or 3 years ago - when the technology really started exploding.
This is the enormous challenge - and corresponding opportunity - in this new technology.      

More tomorrow.

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