Looking Forward to the PC: Year 2020

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Anton Shilov over at Xbit Labs takes a look at what PCs might look like ten years from now. Could GPUs become discrete, parallel devices that effectively become the desktop? The article suggest that the answer may come down to simple economics and the many-core world of today’s supercomputers:

According to Mercury Research, the total available market of discrete graphics processors (desktop and mobile) was approximately 34.9 million units. The number translates to TAM of approximately 100+ million of GPUs per year. The world’s most powerful supercomputer today – the Jaguar – utilizes around 37,000 of AMD Opteron microprocessors with six cores. The K supercomputer jointly developed by Fujitsu and Japanese ministry of education will feature 80 000 thousand SPARC64 VIIIfx chips with eight cores to deliver 10 PetaFLOPS of double-precision performance.

Technology projections can be fun to think about, but innovation is happening so fast now that we can barely see what’s around the corner. I have to wonder what kind of chuckles we’ll get from articles like this a decade from now.