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Is this the end of hardware engineering?

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Mohammad Amin Nili

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Hi all.
I asked this question somewhere else (better to say someone else) and got some answers which was pretty good and useful but still not enough for me.
There are some people on this planet who think hardware Eng. is ending and in the future there would be no researches on hardware designing.
For example :
1. When you look at Intel site, it's all about Internet of things or something, Healthcare, 3rd dimension, etc.
2. When you look at IBM site, it's about smarter planet, Healthcare, etc.
3. Near all articles and papers (which came up with a new idea) about VLSI, Verification, Computer Arch. , SoC, etc ... , were between 1990-2010(optimistic).
And lots of other examples.

So now I have some questions :
1. What is the future of VLSI, HDL, Computer Architecture, Low power design and so on, on these companies ?
2. What are recent researches at big companies labs ?

Thank you very much and sorry for my bad EN :sad:.
 

KlausST

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Hi,

do you really think the next hundreds of years we use the hardware of 2015?

Internet of things or something, Healthcare, 3rd dimension, etc.
For all this you need new hardware, new techniqes, new sensors....

and the named companies continously improve on density, speed, low power, new techniques, smaller, cheaper, more complexity, increased yield...

Klaus
 

Mohammad Amin Nili

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Thank you very much for your answer Klaus.

Let's start with computer architecture. What are recent researches on this field ? I'd be very thankful if you give me a link to an article about recent researches because I did not find anything special.

Thank you very much
 

andre_teprom

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The fact that some technologies had clearly reached a certain performance limit does not mean that development has stopped, you can notice few enhancements but at smaller steps. Actually this could even signify that current demand for more efficient computers compared to the tiny additional outcome do not justify the extra investment on these technologies.

You are referring to a very competitive high-end market niche mass product dominated by few companies that invested a lot along recent decades. There still exists much space for customization, and the conception of new products is strongly tied to the creation of new businesses. Although hardware platforms such as PC and Mobile be attractive to many solutions, do not meet requirements for all applications and standards.
 

Mohammad Amin Nili

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Thank you very much andre_teprom

My main question is what are current researches? Would you like to answer this with some examples?
The problem is that I don't know about my future.

Thank you very much
 

BradtheRad

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New concepts are emerging continually. Someone will find applications for them. It appears to be the domain of large companies with vast resources. Whatever new inventions they are developing, they are motivated to keep it a secret (for now).

Examples:

* 3D printing
* Optical computer processing
* Graphene
* Nanotubes
* Nanobots

This doesn't mean there are no opportunities for individuals to develop something new. Admittedly it has gotten to the point where we (in the US) are so bound by regulations, licensing, legal concerns, etc., that it's difficult.

Recently I had a million dollar idea. Suppose I could program nanobots to fix the scratches on my laptop screen. They would extract dirt and contaminants, then fill in the scratch with clear epoxy. The screen would be like new. I have no idea how to implement this. But if I could, and if I could market it, I would become rich and famous.
 

rahdirs

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Recently I had a million dollar idea. Suppose I could program nanobots to fix the scratches on my laptop screen. They would extract dirt and contaminants, then fill in the scratch with clear epoxy. The screen would be like new. I have no idea how to implement this. But if I could, and if I could market it, I would become rich and famous.

Count me in :p
I had something similar,when i was in college(1 yr ago).bots that would clean the windows of skyscrapers,but yours is much more advanced.
 

Mohammad Amin Nili

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New concepts are emerging continually. Someone will find applications for them. It appears to be the domain of large companies with vast resources. Whatever new inventions they are developing, they are motivated to keep it a secret (for now).

Examples:

* 3D printing
* Optical computer processing
* Graphene
* Nanotubes
* Nanobots

This doesn't mean there are no opportunities for individuals to develop something new. Admittedly it has gotten to the point where we (in the US) are so bound by regulations, licensing, legal concerns, etc., that it's difficult.

Recently I had a million dollar idea. Suppose I could program nanobots to fix the scratches on my laptop screen. They would extract dirt and contaminants, then fill in the scratch with clear epoxy. The screen would be like new. I have no idea how to implement this. But if I could, and if I could market it, I would become rich and famous.

Thanks for your replay.
Your points were great but did not answer my question completely :
What is the future of HW Eng. ?
Let me clear my question for you :
Imagine the technology reached 1nm (or even size of an atom) at VDD 1 uV, more than 10^12 transistors on a single die and so on ... ! So what's next ? Are HW companies (such as Intel, AMD, IBM, ARM, ...) going to dismiss their HW Eng. employees ?

Answers of these questions are really important to me because I wanna choose my future!
 

ads-ee

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Imagine the technology reached 1nm (or even size of an atom) at VDD 1 uV, more than 10^12 transistors on a single die and so on ... ! So what's next ? Are HW companies (such as Intel, AMD, IBM, ARM, ...) going to dismiss their HW Eng. employees ?
Even if they managed to reach that process node. If you get rid of all the HW engineers, who is going to design your next product? Or are you going to keep using the same base design over and over, while someone else develops some new innovative solution that sinks your product...but given that you got rid of all your HW engineers your company is basically going out of business.

So unless a company wants to loose out to some competitor that doesn't layoff all of it's HW engineers, it will keep them around.

My concern would be more along the lines of, will all the HW engineering jobs get exported to cheap labor markets? From my perspective that is already happening and the pace is quickening. I wish I could retire already!
 

andre_teprom

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Imagine the technology reached 1nm (or even size of an atom) at VDD 1 uV, more than 10^12 transistors on a single die
Advances based on current technology seem to have reached the processing limit of the cores, both in terms of signal integrity as well the power dissipation, beyond which there is not much else to progress without sacrifice some feature.

In my opinion, something that could be explored would be to investigate other materials not so complicated to perform deposition as is currently with the Silicon. If so, could stack chips vertically inside a single package, so that would multiply the system processing capacity, but this is not possible with the current technology.

Another field that could be explored in future is some generation of processors working with some kind of optic technology. It seems much more promising if compared to carry electrons in Silicon as is now. Certainly this would mean some increase on the size of the core, but probably dissipation would reduce. However, even assuming that this could happen, we still are limited bellow the light speed, so that another limit would be quickly reached.

Just a brainstorm.
 

Mohammad Amin Nili

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My concern would be more along the lines of, will all the HW engineering jobs get exported to cheap labor markets? From my perspective that is already happening and the pace is quickening. I wish I could retire already!

That's what scaring ! For me as a HW student this means : "You just wasted your time ( at least 4 years ) learning something which is dated !"

Advances based on current technology seem to have reached the processing limit of the cores, both in terms of signal integrity as well the power dissipation, beyond which there is not much else to progress without sacrifice some feature.

In my opinion, something that could be explored would be to investigate other materials not so complicated to perform deposition as is currently with the Silicon. If so, could stack chips vertically inside a single package, so that would multiply the system processing capacity, but this is not possible with the current technology.

Another field that could be explored in future is some generation of processors working with some kind of optic technology. It seems much more promising if compared to carry electrons in Silicon as is now. Certainly this would mean some increase on the size of the core, but probably dissipation would reduce. However, even assuming that this could happen, we still are limited bellow the light speed, so that another limit would be quickly reached.

Just a brainstorm.

1. I think optic computing is just another field. As an HW engineering undergraduate, I think this is not about HW. (At least ) At my university HW Eng. Students do not pass any optic course and of course VLSI or computer Arch. are something completely different.
2. What do you mean by brainstorm ?
3. What about ARM ? Do you mean ARM is near its end ?
 

ads-ee

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That's what scaring ! For me as a HW student this means : "You just wasted your time ( at least 4 years ) learning something which is dated !"
What do you mean by dated? I didn't say anything about dated technology, I'm saying it's more likely you'll have to work in a cheaper labor market country like India, China, Pakistan, and similar as there aren't any jobs in engineering available as the bean counters in charge have decided it's cheaper to use overseas engineers than hire local ones.
 

Mohammad Amin Nili

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What do you mean by dated? I didn't say anything about dated technology, I'm saying it's more likely you'll have to work in a cheaper labor market country like India, China, Pakistan, and similar as there aren't any jobs in engineering available as the bean counters in charge have decided it's cheaper to use overseas engineers than hire local ones.

When something is new and you are a specialist about the field, every company needs you and they have to pay you much more than anybody else. And of course vice versa ! That's why I say VLSI and CMOS tech are dated.
 

ark5230

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To me it looks as if the real technology that is in application is hidden as it is covered by rights and patents.
In academia research publications do not reflect the actual growth trends.
What is in market is not fully documented in scientific literature as it use to be earlier.
 

Mohammad Amin Nili

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To me it looks as if the real technology that is in application is hidden as it is covered by rights and patents.
In academia research publications do not reflect the actual growth trends.
What is in market is not fully documented in scientific literature as it use to be earlier.

I agree.
That's why I think you have 3 ways to find out what is edge of tech at this time :
1. Searching recent patents.
2. Searching careers of tech based companies.
3. Sometimes it's not a bad idea to read some papers of conferences.
But unfortunately as far as I searched there are a few recent patents about the fields (Computer Arch., VLSI, and so on ...).

I wanted to make my own startup but as time move forward, I'm really feeling hopeless.

P.S. Is it possible to edit topic title ? There's a typo there!
 

bigdogguru

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The thread title has been changed.

As the thread seems to have run its course and we've already had a few off topic replies, I've now closed it.
 

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