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Advanced Signal Integrity For High-Speed Digital Designs by HOWARD L. HECK, STEPHEN H. HALL

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1

INTRODUCTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF SIGNAL INTEGRITY

1.1 Computing Power: Past and Future

1.2 The Problem

1.3 The Basics

1.4 A New Realm of Bus Design

1.5 Scope of the Book

1.6 Summary

ERRATA

References

1.1 COMPUTING POWER: PAST AND FUTURE

It is estimated that sometime between the years 2025 and 2050, commonplace personal computers will exceed the calculation power of a human brain. Further extrapolation based on historical trends indicates that a single common place computer could exceed the computational power of the human race sometime between 2060 and 2100. Are such vast increases in computational power possible in less than 100 years? We cannot say for certain because it is impossible to predict the future. However, hindsight is always 20/20, and if we subscribe to the notion that history tends to repeat itself, we can look at the progress of computational capabilities over the last century to see if historical data support a rate sufficient to achieve such performance. Hans Moravec, a researcher from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Melon University, estimated that a computer would require 100 million mega instructions per second (MIPS) to mimic sufficiently closely the behavior of a human brain [Moravec, 1998]. Based on the number of neurons, he was also able to compare the current state of computer technology to the estimated computational power of animal brains. These data points outline a particularly interesting way to examine the history of computational power while ...

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