Microsoft CEO says the world is running out of computer power. YellowDog founder & CEO, Gareth, responds in open letter to tech giant boss.
I read with interest your comments from Davos that the world is running out of computer power.
I completely agree with you about Moore’s law: the impact of Spectre and Meltdown – in some cases the fix decreases processor performance by up to 30% – means that the 50-year era of processor speeds doubling every 18 months is likely to be over.
I also agree that quantum computing offers a tantalising future of super-fast computing solving problems that we can only just begin to imagine today (fully understanding protein structure would be just the start!). However, quantum computing, as you know far better and deeper than me, requires an entire change to how computer programmes are written and executed. A change that isn’t going to happen overnight.
All this is in the context of a world where we’re already running out: running out of energy, running out of raw earth materials, running out of space for landfill.
So, is there another solution? I believe there is.
We know that in most large businesses, 30% of servers are installed and powered-on in data centres and then never used. We know that average server utilisation in those enterprises is between 5 & 15%. We know that 66% of the global population will be walking around with powerful computers in our pockets this year. We know that we all have computers in our homes that are not used for the vast majority of the day.
So how about we change the model? Rather than building more, we make better use of what we have already.
This poses some challenges – around security, around permission, around how we harness that massive amount of computer power for any application. We believe we’ve started to solve some of those challenges here at YellowDog. It’s what we call Limitless Compute.
Is it time we all started to try to achieve more with what we already have?
Founder & CEO, YellowDog
PS I’d love to show you what we mean by this – when you’re next in the UK, do pop into our offices in Bristol; you’d be more than welcome.