June 21, 2010, 4:18 PM — For all its promise of revolution, the computing industry often lags behind expectations. After all, your netbook is really just a laptop, only smaller and cheaper. The chip that powers your PC today has a direct lineage back to the Pentiums of yesterday. Your latest hard drive might hold 2TB, but it's still just a hard drive. Where's the real innovation?
In the labs, of course.
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Researchers in labs at major IT vendors and universities continue to point the way forward. Products and ideas dreamed up in these labs have the potential to shake up the IT industry. From the network to storage systems to the securing of sensitive data to the way in which end-users will one day interact with computing interfaces -- every facet of the enterprise is being pushed in revolutionary directions.
Here are just a few of the ideas evolving in today's labs -- future technologies that could be arriving sooner than you think.
Processors: Breaking Moore's Law
The story of computing since the mid-20th century has largely been the race against Moore's Law. Named for Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, the conjecture posits that integrated circuits will double in performance every 18 months. In practice, Moore's prediction has held mostly true. Even as chipmakers have drawn close to the practical limits of modern processor design, the advent of multicore CPUs has allowed them to cram ever more power into increasingly compact chip packages.