Macro-economic consequences of Moore's law?

By: Ireland (boh.delete@this.outlook.ie), April 21, 2017 7:32 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Ricardo B (ricardo.b.delete@this.xxxxx.xx) on April 21, 2017 6:59 am wrote:
>
>
> You are making extraordinary claims, which need extraordinary evidence.
>
> The 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD I could find, WD Black, consume up at 1.1A @ 5V.
> That's 5.5 watt.
> Not enough to reduce a laptop battery to 10 minutes.
> Difficult to melt plastic.
>
> Nor did I find evidence of a 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD which can consume enough power to do what you
> describe, nor can I imagine that it would be a good business proposition for HDD makers.
>
>

Ricardo,

I've no articles or citations, but only experience of a variety of makers of laptop systems - where the behavior I've seen with laptop drives - getting dangerously overheated, has occurred. Some try to attribute it, to actual physical heat transferring from CPU chips, to hard drive bays that are in too close a proximity. I don't buy that at all. I think the power supply to drives in laptop systems, is problematic itself. Because, working with external caddy's, NAS, desktops, servers, I've never seen any size or type of hard drive exhibit this same overheating behavior anywhere else.

One time, to satisfy myself I de-constructed an entire laptop, and ran it on a table top with only the motherboard open to the air, and the hard drive seated on the socket for drives, on the laptop motherboard. I put my hand to the hard drive surface (which wasn't contained inside of any enclosure at all), and it burned one's fingers to touch. I tested the drive, in several other systems before and after, and the drive didn't exhibit that behavior in anything else.

And I've come across this across different brands of laptop too. So there's something definitely at work there, that I don't fully understand. I'm open to further correction or suggestion, but that's where I'm coming from.

Of course there's no need for any drive, even the 7,200rpm 'Black' model drives, to consume more than the 1.1 amp that you mentioned. The Black model drives, those ones are pretty excellent drives I find. I've used them in desktop and laptop sizes for three/four years now. The ones I got lately were Sata 600 mbps specification.

I use the 'RE' model enterprise storage Western Digital sata mechanical drives too, wherever I can. I find them amazing (not just for reliability spec's, but just as a 'file drive', where you will store stuff, and you need a drive that can spin into action fast to load a file). A solid state for boot drive, and 'RE' mechanical Western Digital model for files, isn't a bad combination in my opinion. The 'RE' drives costs more, but on balance, because you 'use' the facility of the drive, to provide responsiveness, when accessing files at random - it pay's for itself. The 'black' model drives would be good as well - but I change to 'RE' models for files now - and the black drives, I mainly use to boot OSes from, in something like a laptop.

It's a drive that is marketed as 'desktop type performance', inside a laptop. And I can verify, that it does perform nicely as a boot drive for many folk, who can still work off something mechanical in their laptop systems. As I suggested, and I'd stand corrected on it, but mechanical drives do still offer a little bit - over solid state drives - in a laptop system. It's not that I don't like Sata solid state drives, I use them all the time now in desktop systems - but with laptops for some reason, I've just stuck with mechanical drives.

The point I'd like to make though, is one about Moore's Law. I believe that customers were encouraged towards buying more devices such as tablets, phones etc in recent years. Definitely, there are strong factors attracting consumers 'towards' those types of devices now (and all of the associated 'cloud' connectivity and wireless broadband services, that fit around those ultra portable devices). With the 'cloud' maybe, some of the argument for having laptops with a lot of local storage and applications - is starting to just disappear. And this has happened relatively recently, with widespread 4G networks and robustness of the wireless broadband networks.

However, in addition to the factors that are 'pulling' consumers towards other solutions, other device types etc - I suggest that there WERE factors 'pushing' consumers away from laptops, for quite a bit of time. And the suggestion that I'd offer, is that companies such as Intel have been building CPU's, drives (and are getting back into 'memory' as I understand it), for a long time. In other words, Intel have this huge capability at their disposal in fabrication - and that is able to leverage Moore's law. But, Intel are making most of the 'components' that go into computer systems these days - what Intel DON'T do, in my humble opinion - is design better relationships between those same components.

I can't speak for the management inside some place like Intel, but if I had anything to do with it, I'd look for any money rattling around in the bottom of the drawer for 'research and development', and look at ways that I could build a much better laptop, out of the components that I can make. I don't agree with this argument, that Intel or Microsoft 'need' to offer competing products in the laptop and phone space. I don't agree with that one bit. What they needed to do, in my opinion, was to leverage what they already have - taking in mind the advantages afforded by Moore's Law - and put effort into making a darn good laptop. I.e. Something that people can go back to, and feel good about owning a laptop again. Instead, of that type of computer - feeling like it's so lame and not exciting enough for consumers today.

Like, for example, I'd take something like the expensive 'tablets' that Microsoft are trying to sell at the moment - and just re-design them to work as decent, autonomous laptops - plain and simple. That's what I'd do. There was a man who worked as CEO of TSMC semi-conductor in his seventies, very recently. He told a story about a semi-conductor plant he worked in, after graduating from college in the fifties. The boss in that place, way back then, announced to workers he said - 'We can't make what we can sell, and we can't sell what we can make'.

My argument is, is that with all of the advantages that some of these incumbent technology companies have had at their disposal - including, an ability to harness directly onto Moore's Law in fabrication - that they ended up somewhere, in areas such as laptops, that's very like the quotation I mention. All best.
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