The Genomic Computing Era
The Superhuman Computing Era (when computers are finally smarter than people)
The Store-Everything-Forever Era
Q: What major technology issues today will become inconsequential or significantly less important in the future?
A: Spam. Ugly mess for now. Filtering and criminalizing are the wrong solutions. Permission-based and postage for e-mail are the obvious solutions, we'll realize soon.
Q: What transformative technologies will be coming down the pike in the next 25 years, and when do you think those will happen?
A: Some overdue autonomous networked reliable operating system beyond Windows and Linux, which are OLD. We are on the verge of storing everything forever. RFIDs
Q: What comes after Ethernet? What's the next revolution in networking?
A: Wireless networking in the newly accessible bands above 50GHz (although it will still be called Ethernet).
TERESA MENG, FOUNDER AND CTO, ATHEROS COMMUNICATIONS:
Q: Wireless throughput and power -- where do they eventually lead?
A: Wireless connections will be everywhere and we will use the technology without being conscious that we are doing so. We don’t think very much about the wires that we plug in today -- in the future we’ll have even less reason to think about the invisible wireless technology powering our daily lives. Throughput will seem almost unlimited, because the technology can provide far more capacity than people have the need for or ability to handle. We’ll also overcome issues of power consumption and battery life that have so significantly limited our use of wireless technology.
Q: What is the greatest threat to wireless communications and collaboration?
A: Shortsighted government intervention; in particular, the auctioning of spectrum that allows a few companies to monopolize the air. For technology to reach its full potential, the notions of sharing and collaboration are essential. The air belongs to everybody. An analogy is driving a car. The government’s role may be to set rules such as how fast we can drive, but it doesn’t dictate what manufacturer’s vehicle we must use to get on the freeway. The freeway is built for everybody. As long as we follow the rules -- and these rules have to be fair and reasonable -- then everybody can move forward.
Q: What technology issues today will become inconsequential or significantly less important in the future?
A: Two issues in particular come to mind. Increasing the clock rate in CPUs is one. The architecture of current-day microprocessors was defined 50 years ago and doesn’t really fit with today’s silicon technology. Architectures more suitable for future-scaled technology will be developed within the next ten years. These architectures will perform computation tasks at a much lower power level, and they will eliminate the constant need to increase clock rate as the only resort for delivering high performance. Another issue is software. We spend way too much time worrying about software issues such as correctness, verification, security, bugs, and viruses. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned; we simply don’t have the right solutions yet. Revolutionary changes in software development strategies are necessary and imminent, and we’ll no longer be held captive by these problems in the future.