Norfolk Developers held their third breakfast at the Maids Head Hotel this week and despite the early start drew a good crowd of techies and non-techies alike. James Duez was the morning’s speaker, tackling the epic subject of a world with unlimited computing over a full English.
Essentially in James’ world of super fast, super economical super-computers, everything would be better.
Healthcare could be revolutionized, bioinformatic searches carried out in the blink of an eye and weather forecasting would be, well, accurate. There are just two things standing in the way. The cost of producing these computers and then the energy they require to function. James’ company Optalysys is in the process of creating an optical processor, with the aim of significantly reducing the build cost and the running cost of super fast computers, and they are two years away from their goal. Using high grade liquid crystal and optical lasers he predicts they will be able to perform a multitude of functions in a fraction of the time it currently takes, impacting on just about every possible area of life. Optalysys are already working with the Genome Project in Norwich and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
Among all the highly technical, almost futuristic, talk, I discovered a new favourite word. ‘Petaflop’ is a measurement of computer processing speed, but in my mind it’s the next generation of Pokemon. Don’t even get me started on Gigaflop….
Check out the date for the next Norfolk Developers breakfast here