Ron Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Altera Corporation
March 18, 2014
The near future will see massive growth in mobile computing, in network traffic, and in the sheer size of data sets. These are all familiar trends, but often they are stated without reference to specifics. Even less often do discussions of these trends include mention of the impact they will have on hardware in the data center, through which all that data must eventually pass.
The Plenary Session at the 2014 International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) offered welcome redress for these shortcomings. In two keynote addresses, MediaTek chairman and CEO Ming-Kai Tsai and Cisco vice president and CTO for network experiences Susie Wee gave clear accounts of how lifestyle changes around the world—in uses of mobile devices and conferencing, respectively—will feed the traffic explosion.
Coming from a different direction, CERN instrumentation physicist Erik Heijne described the instrumentation module in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—the massive instrument at the heart of the quest to confirm the existence of the Higgs field. In the process, Heijne provided a tour of the LHC, a time-lapse glimpse at custom mixed-signal IC development, and a view into the staggering scale of real big-data computing problems.
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