Moore’s Law (roughly) suggests that electronics double (capacity) every 18 – 24 months. I believe initially it had to do with the size and speed of transistors. Â But it’s held mostly true in my experience for processor speeds and hard drive capacities – every two years you get twice as much for the same price. Â By that math every 10 years you would have a 32x increase in speed and capacity. Â That means that if 1 TB hard drives are the typical size now by 2018 we’ll be buying 32 TB drives.
During my clean up I came across some old Sony memory sticks and was a littleÂ surprisedÂ at their capacities. Â It didn’t seem that long ago that we were using these sticks but now all the sudden they seem quite small. Â Even the large one here is only 128MB. Â Upgrading to a new camera, the next memory stick I purchased after that one was 1GB. Â The next one after that was 4GB. Â I expect that at this rate we’re only a year away from having 32GB if not 64GB memory sticks and thumb drives. Â It almost seems that flash memory is accelerating at a much higher rate than Moore’s Law would suggest. Actually, I predict that due to new memory technologies thumb drives and solid state hard drives will take a very large jump in capacity within the next year or two, leaping all the way into the 250GB to 1TB range. Â What would that do to traditional hard drive technology which has been mostly following Moore’s law? Â What happens when memory capacities become so large and so cheap that almost anyone can afford a practically limitless amount of memory? Â What new products emerge?
What would you do with a infinite amount of storage space? Â Do you become a data pack rat? Â Would your storage look like a teenager’s bedroom with unorganized random files all over the place? Â Or do you build a data wonderland (ie., music and movies) with copies of everything all nicely organized in folders. Â What about dream products? Â A TiVo that can record multiple channels 24/7 and hold every show you ever care about forever? Â A 30 megapixel camera that records forever and doesn’t have a delete button? Â Oh wait, that could actually be bad.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that some smart people think that Moore’s Law can’t keep going forever. Â History has shown that so far it’s been the trend. Â Every time there’s a technological roadblock we see a small dip in the trend, but eventually some scientist figures out a way to get around it. Â Or they come up with a new approach. Â I see Moore’s Law not as the literal definition that Roger Moore um, Gordon Moore observed in 1965 about the actual size of transistors, but as an overall trend in scale/price/performance. Â Sometimes PCs are faster because we put more cores or processors in them for the same retail price. Â To me that counts as well.