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Additionally, many question whether there is a large enough market demand for this type of all-in-one packaging, particularly when it means more complex user controls and bigger power drain on a device that already has battery life issues.

Light-Hearted Processing

Gordon Moore announced this past week that his own law is probably going to break down in 10 to 20 years, which is about a decade earlier than what most industry experts quote.  On the other hand, there are a countless number of researchers trying to build the ultimate next leap in technology that will kick transistors (and thus, Moore’s Law) to the curb as if they were vacuum tubes. Many seem to be having early successes. In February, Hewlett-Packard revealed a nanowire-based “crossbar latch” technology that seems a likely replacement to the transistor.

But, as Gordon also predicted last week, transistors won’t go quietly into that good night. Scientists at the University of Illinois came up with a new structure (dubbed the pseudomorphic heterojunction bipolar transistor) that breaks the 600 gigahertz processing mark and could soon reach into the terahertz range.

Advancements such as this will keep more traditional computing in the game longer, and will make entirely different technologies a tougher sale when they become ready in 6 to 10 years. Looking even further down the line, there will be optical computers that use light instead of electricity to deal with data – as demonstration by a Harvard University researcher’s use of ultra-cold atoms to control light and form the core processing unit of such a device.

Nesting in Silicon Valley

Information Technology revenues are up, but IT employment continues to fall.

Companies in the Silicon Valley 150 posted a 14 percent rise in revenue in 2004, but that hasn’t stimulated the economy. In the first quarter of 2005, technology sector saw 59,537  jobs disappear. That’s almost double the amount from the same time last year.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, technology companies are putting rising some of their profits into infrastructure and raises – but mostly, the companies are building giant cash-on-hand nest eggs to guard against the possibility of rough times ahead.

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