In the early 80s a few years removed as an undergrad, I remember having a discussion about real time embedded OS applications and the Smoking-Hairy Golfballs prediction presented to me. With the advancements of process geometry, circuit design, and silicon packaging we are getting much closer.
With massive compute power in smaller and smaller space. 45 nanometer technology is here today. It seems like yesterday that .35 micron (350 nm) was the geometry of choice. Moore’s Law continues to be true!
What about the software for all these fast, highly pipelined integrated circuits? With IT consolidation everywhere, software is the key. I remember as a COOP in the late 70s and early 80s working on an IBM virtual machine OS called MVS. Trends come and go…
How does one scale today? Horizontally? Vertically? Power, Cost/sq. ft., maintenance, etc. all are factors. It is not just the cheapest box with free software all the time.