Developmental Spiral

Based on Ray Kurzweil’s theories of accelerating technological change, the following table illustrates an approximate timeline:

Homo Sapiens 100,000 years
Tribal 40,000 years
Agricultural 7,000 years
Empires 2,500 years
Scientific 380 years (1500-1770)
Industrial 180 years (1770-1950)
Information 70 years (1950-2020)
Symbiotic 30 years (2020-2050)
Autonomy 10 years (2050-2060)

Relative growth rates in computer systems are remarkably stable:

  • memory outgrows processors
  • processors outgrow wired bandwidth
  • bandwidth outgrows wireless capabilities

So we expect:

  1. New storage tech first and fastest
  2. New processors and applications
  3. New wired communication hardware and protocols
  4. New wireless technology and improvements in transfer rates last and slowest
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