Energy usage per square millimetre

  • 2 September 2020
  • 17 replies
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I’ve been burning my fingers for many years…

 

First we had valves, a kind of electronic switch or gateway (and a few other things too)

- good for heating houses, power stations and toast

then we got transistors and the hot-sausage-like valves became black peas with legs

- essentially just a smaller valve, did one thing at a time

- better with batteries, not so good for toasting

then we decided we could make electronic "chips" which had sometimes up to 8 transistors in a hard black caterpillar thing

then it started to get a bit silly

today one of the main graphics card manufacturers announced their new product:

 

Nvidia announce new Ampere architecture

they still call the individual elements transistors because they really are fundamentally the same thing

but now we have "chips" with 56 Million transistors PER SQUARE MILLIMETRE

and in total one "chip" which will sit quite happily in the palm of your hand has...

28 BILLION yes BILLION transistors in one device

The good news is that it's pretty good for making toast again!

I just wish I still had the skill to make the best of one :)

 

Nostalgia thought - are we keeping power consumption the same overall by just doing more with every new “low power” development in tech?

 

Steve


17 replies


but now we have "chips" with 56 Million transistors PER SQUARE MILLIMETRE

and in total one "chip" which will sit quite happily in the palm of your hand has...

28 BILLION yes BILLION transistors in one device
 

Fascinating post @SteveH2707 

Is this what they call ‘Moore’s Law’? That every few years the size of the microchip shrinks, and at the same time the number of transistors gets bigger? So all our gadgets get smaller and yet more powerful?

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I prefer my chips with salt and a pint of decent beer. 🍺🍺 - or two!

Userlevel 4

Moore’s law certainly applies and I also agree with the beer comment :)

 

It just seemed to me that it’s like having a bigger desk, you still seem to be able to use it all.

 

Companies tout “lower power” solutions and that’s a great thing, but if we just use more things at the same time, does overall usage of things that eat energy actually decline?

 

IOT (internet of things) perhaps speaks to this, what cpu is YOUR fridge using?

 

That said, I still need to put the kettle on at this time of day :)

 

Toast anyone?

 

Steve

It’s a great journey you describe.

I think energy usage is declining somewhat, but the drive/greed to do more, limits what power savings actually appear. It’ll be interesting to see what thermal profile Apple chooses with their forthcoming Apple Silicon Macs.

I think they might take a step forward in efficiency and so give us smaller lighter systems that still perform well.

I’m with you on the food front. Cheers

 

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*flags as off topic, please transfer to “food porn”

 

and save me a slice!

 

 

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Marmalade?

Userlevel 4

You sweet talker you!

 

:wink:

Here’s an option @SteveH2707 

Using gravity to store and deploy energy.

Sound good?

Userlevel 4

Here’s an option @SteveH2707 

Using gravity to store and deploy energy.

Sound good?

It’s a great new twist on an old idea, perhaps we’ll all have home storage units involving a bowling ball and a wide drainpipe :)

 

As gadgets become ever more energy lean, we may also see devices that capture the energy of just moving around in order to power wearable devices.

 

It’s been done before of course but we need low low low power tech to make it a truly viable option.

 

The world is full of people doing stuff that’s bad for the planet - human nature of course, fortunately it’s also got more than a smattering of pioneers pulling on the other end of the tug-of-war rope :)

 

And don’t think you can’t make a difference or that you’re not a genius or just not a whizz kid teen - inspiration comes to everyone at some time so grab it when it does.

 

for an example if you need one :

R.I.P. Trevor

Always seems obvious after the event doesn’t it :)

 

Prize for the wackiest idea that we can see one day might actually happen?

 

After all someone may see it and think… “wait a minute...” :)

 

Have fun!

 

 

 

we may also see devices that capture the energy of just moving around in order to power wearable devices.

It’s been done before of course but we need low low low power tech to make it a truly viable option.

for an example if you need one :

R.I.P. Trevor

Yes, RIP Trevor. He used to live not far from where my folks are in South West London, and he was v partial to a cooked Full English (sure, slightly off topic).

His wind-up radio was meant for developing countries, I think? 

Maybe the acting of winding is too much effort for “advanced” ones…. :laughing:

Userlevel 4

we may also see devices that capture the energy of just moving around in order to power wearable devices.

It’s been done before of course but we need low low low power tech to make it a truly viable option.

for an example if you need one :

R.I.P. Trevor

Yes, RIP Trevor. He used to live not far from where my folks are in South West London, and he was v partial to a cooked Full English (sure, slightly off topic).

His wind-up radio was meant for developing countries, I think? 

Maybe the acting of winding is too much effort for “advanced” ones…. :laughing:

I’d say many if not most people from “advanced” countries are good for a wind up!

...awaits flaming

...with slice of crusty bread

 

How about attaching ropes to skiers as they descend and using the power to drive the alpine lifts?

I know there could be a few issues with this, but @SteveH2707 did ask for wacky ideas.

Userlevel 4

How about attaching ropes to skiers as they descend and using the power to drive the alpine lifts?

I know there could be a few issues with this, but @SteveH2707 did ask for wacky ideas.

Not at all wacky!

 

Same principle as counter weights in lifts, what goes up must come down lol

 

What’s needed are friction-less bearings and loss-less motors (or near as can do).

 

As new materials are developed ( a good example would be Graphene ) then ideas spring from the possibilities so who knows perhaps the perfect knicker elastic will be invented so that Skiers can descend at full pace and the energy is still stored in the elastic and transferred to the piece on the ski lift!

 

Just have to watch out for that snap back!

 

Keep ‘em coming!

 

I have garrotted myself of a rope down the side of the piste before now whilst recklessly traversing. So the idea of thin graphene strings stretching down the slopes could prove entertaining.

⛷️🚠 

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I’d like an irony and sarcasm detector (I will accept separate units if not possible to combine)

I’d like an irony and sarcasm detector (I will accept separate units if not possible to combine)

How would we measure irony and sarcasm I wonder @SteveH2707 ??

Irony - measured in guesses?

Sarcasm - measured in units of pithiness?

(yes I have my dictionary out :laughing: )

Userlevel 7
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Sarcasm - measured in units of pithiness?

yeth, any other unit would be thilly...

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