Monday, June 05, 2006

New Evidence For Hyperbolic Growth?


A lot of talk goes on about exponential technological growth as typified by Moore's Law. However if Ray Kurzweil is correct concerning his Law of Accelerating Returns we should see not just exponential growth but hyperbolic growth. Hyperbolic growth happens when the causes of exponential growth are themselves growing exponentially.

Well according to researchers at Georgia Tech this is exactly what we should expect to be seeing in the near future. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

“By 2010, the "More Than Moore's Law" movement—which focuses on system integration rather than transistor density—will lead to revolutionary megafunction electronics “

“SOP technology represents a radically different approach to systems. It shrinks bulky circuit boards with their many components and makes them nearly disappear. In effect, SOP sets up a new law for system integration. It holds that as the components shrink and the boards all but disappear, the component density will double every year or so, and the number of system functions in an SOP package will increase in the same proportion. Thus, SOP technology yields far more in system miniaturization than can be expected from Moore's Law, which deals only with transistors in ICs [see graph below, "Growing Faster"]. “

“This last application will see the convergence of biology, chemistry, and digital technology to produce capsules small enough to be introduced into the human body to monitor personal health daily. A capsule could be used, for example, to check vital signs and monitor parameters such as glucose levels, blood pressure, and even signs of cancer. The capsule would then wirelessly communicate the person's health status to a Web terminal outside the body or, via the Internet, to a physician (or to anyone, anywhere). Fitted with a reservoir, the capsule could also deliver drugs at programmed intervals to selected places within the body. “

Source


15 Comments:

I'm just enough of an electrician to be aware just how sensitive such devices have always been to external radiation sources (RF, magnetic, etc; not nuclear especially) and have wondered how robust something that small can be made. Having your in-body diagnostic and Rx dispenser go on the fritz every time one passes through a metal detector would not be a good thing, I suspect.

If I can just stay out from under the bus for a few more years, it appears I may have the opportunity to find out.

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From the study of proteins and their interaction with ligands we also learn that most have a mechanism for co-operativity. If that co-operativity between subunits of the protein is positive then a reaction where you would expect a hyperbolic response becomes sigmoidal.

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