Will computers run out of power? Machines could use more than world's production of electricity by 2040

Mail Online | 7/25/2016 | Abigail Beall For Mailonline
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The digital boom might hit a wall within 25 years because there will not be enough electricity to power all the world's computers, experts have said.

A report has warned, if current trends continue, we will be running short of electricity to power these machines by as soon as 2040.

Improvement - Energy - Efficiency - Computers - Amount

This means radical improvement of the energy efficiency of computers is drastically needed to enable us to keep increasing the amount of computing power used around the world.

The report, by the Washington DC-based Semiconductor Industry Association and the Semiconductor Research Corporation, includes a chart which shows for the amount energy needed per bit, computing will not be sustainable by 2040.

Energy - World - Energy - Production

This is when the energy required for computing is estimated to exceed the estimated world's energy production.

But experts do not believe this nightmare scenario will become a reality.

Chart - ] - Extrapolation - Point - Celia

'[The chart] is obviously a back-of-the-envelope extrapolation that is meant to make a point,' Celia Merzbacher, VP of Innovative Partnerships at Semiconductor Research Council told Semiconductor Engineering.

'It's not realistic to expect that the world's energy production is going to be devoted 100 per cent to computing so the question is, how do we do more with less and where are the opportunities for squeezing more out of the system?'

Benchmark - Energy - Bit - Energy - World

'For this benchmark energy per bit, computing will not be sustainable by 2040, when the energy required for computing will exceed the estimated world’s energy production,' the report said.

'Thus, radical improvement in the energy efficiency of computing is needed.'

Chart - Limit - Landauer - Limit - Switching

The chart uses a physics-based device-level theoretical lower limit, known as the Landauer limit for binary switching, and a practical limit for energy consumption.

The energy limit is named after IBM Research Lab's Rolf Landauer, who in 1961 found that in any computer, each single bit operation must use an absolute minimum amount of energy.

Landauer - Formula

Landauer's formula calculated...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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