Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > General Traveller Discussions > Imperial Research Station

Imperial Research Station A forum for discussing technology and related topics for use in the Traveller Universe

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old February 3rd, 2019, 03:05 PM
sudnadja sudnadja is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 262
Gallery : 0
sudnadja Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Well what I mean by inefficiency is that programmers don't code 'close to the metal' like they used to in terms of optimizing their programs, because it's not an economically viable use of their time.


So you often don't get 100x performance just because the machine is 100x faster- the hardware allows much 'sloppier' code and the programmer/dev team to concentrate on complexity of process.
By the same token, more of the problems that need optimization have been optimized. Very fast linear algebra subroutines have been written and you don't need to know how to solve the problem "close to the metal", you only need to know the problem that you are trying to solve. Someone else has figured out a more rapid way to walk a volume partitioning tree or numerically evaluate ODEs just as fast as you would be able to if you spent a month writing shader code or assembler (or VHDL if that's what you mean by "close to the metal").

But, in Traveller terms it isn't worth debating, this is one of those fortunate problems that you can describe the economics that lead to big computers however you want and it is a plausible reason. My point here is simply pointing out that in many of the problems actually got faster than the relative hardware power would indicate, because these days the critical performance modules have been implemented in hardware - for example most PCs have video deblocking and motion compensation implemented in hardware. The problem has been solved so close to the metal that its in the metal itself.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old February 3rd, 2019, 11:05 PM
wellis wellis is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Walnut
Posts: 374
Gallery : 0
wellis Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudnadja View Post
The fastest as of November 2018 (DOE's Summit supercomputer) is 150-200 petaflops, or around 9 to 12 million times faster than a fully configured 1991-era Y-MP C90, or about 935 million to 1.25 billion times faster than the 1976-era Cray-1.
Does that mean these supercomputers are more what we should compare a ship mainframe computer to?

Also was reading this on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comput...l#Contemporary
Quote:
Since the advent and subsequent popularization of the personal computer, few genuine hardware terminals are used to interface with computers today. Using the monitor and keyboard, modern operating systems like Linux and the BSD derivatives feature virtual consoles, which are mostly independent from the hardware used.

When using a graphical user interface (or GUI) like the X Window System, one's display is typically occupied by a collection of windows associated with various applications, rather than a single stream of text associated with a single process. In this case, one may use a terminal emulator application within the windowing environment. This arrangement permits terminal-like interaction with the computer (for running a command line interpreter, for example) without the need for a physical terminal device; it can even allow the running of multiple terminal emulators on the same device.
Do modern mainframes today rely on terminals, or do they us something else, to allow inputting and displaying of information?
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old February 3rd, 2019, 11:11 PM
sudnadja sudnadja is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 262
Gallery : 0
sudnadja Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Does that mean these supercomputers are more what we should compare a ship mainframe computer to?
It's difficult to imagine how much computing power will be available thousands of years from now. Something that would fit in a starship might have quintillions of times the processing power of all of the computers on earth in 2019 put together. Given the rate things are progressing, there should be enough computational resources available on any ship to run everything needed simultaneously.

Traveller is a bit retro, though. You could explain it as Earth being one of the very few worlds that experienced run-away computer technical development and most worlds peaked in the megaflops to gigaflops and megaword to gigaword levels, and for whatever reason Terran computers never gained an economic foothold in the Imperium.

I personally like the idea of several tons of computational equipment onboard a starship with the overall performance of a Vax 11/780, but it's not easy to explain that into the game.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old February 4th, 2019, 01:02 AM
aramis's Avatar
aramis aramis is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Anchorage, AK, USofA
Posts: 29,463
Gallery : 56
Visit aramis's Blog
aramis has disabled reputation
Send a message via ICQ to aramis Send a message via AIM to aramis Send a message via Yahoo to aramis
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Does that mean these supercomputers are more what we should compare a ship mainframe computer to?

Also was reading this on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comput...l#Contemporary

Do modern mainframes today rely on terminals, or do they us something else, to allow inputting and displaying of information?
The most modern supercomputers are actually beowulf clusters of high throughput multicore servers in a single rack, running as if a single mainframe, save that a bunch of the system busses are 1000-Base-T over twisted pair...

It's likely that that kind of function is likely to only grow in frequency.

The biggest limit (transistor density) has already been hit.
The next biggest (physical chip size) limit probably hasn't been hit, but is getting harder to increase.
The next limit is cooling. We're nowhere near the limit at the chip... but the solutions for increasing transistor density are making it harder to keep the chips themselves cool, as more and more 3-d is used in making the chip.
__________________
~ Aramis
aramis.hostman.us /trav
Smith & Wesson: The Original Point and Click interface!

Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
Duke of the Third Imperium (SPIN 0534)
Count Terra (SOLO 1827)
Count Gorod (REFT 1302)
Count of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2232)
Viscount of Adabicci (SPIN 1824)
Marquis of the Solomani Rim (SOLO 0606)
Marquis of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2410)
Baron of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2231)
Knight of the Iridium Throne (CORE 1434)
Sir William Hostman (OLDE 0512)
Sir William Hostman (DAGU 0622)
Knight of Deneb (REFT 2239)
Knight of Deneb (Spin 2532)
SEH w/Diamonds for Extreme Heroism - Battle of Boughene
MCG - Battle of Boughene
TAS: William Hostman (CORR 2506)
TAS: Bearer (DAIB 1326)
IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu± dt± f+ fs++ ge± ih- inf± j± jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
Unless there is bold red text, presume my posts to be my personal material only.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old February 4th, 2019, 01:09 AM
sudnadja sudnadja is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 262
Gallery : 0
sudnadja Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
The most modern supercomputers are actually beowulf clusters of high throughput multicore servers in a single rack, running as if a single mainframe, save that a bunch of the system busses are 1000-Base-T over twisted pair...

It's likely that that kind of function is likely to only grow in frequency.

The biggest limit (transistor density) has already been hit.
The next biggest (physical chip size) limit probably hasn't been hit, but is getting harder to increase.
The next limit is cooling. We're nowhere near the limit at the chip... but the solutions for increasing transistor density are making it harder to keep the chips themselves cool, as more and more 3-d is used in making the chip.
I don't think we're at the limit of transistor density, despite the teething problems the 10nm intel node has had, there's a roadmap out to at least 3x the current density. Also, for the most part logic rests on a single metal layer, the remainder being interconnect, eventually the other layers will be logic (actual transistors) as well which will dramatically increase volumetric density.

Density isn't the only limit, the ability to reliably manufacture large surface area chips economically has been growing fairly dramatically also. Quadrillion gate ICs can be achieved with either a density increase or an area increase. I don't really think we're anywhere near the practical limit yet.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old February 4th, 2019, 01:47 AM
77topaz's Avatar
77topaz 77topaz is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,278
Gallery : 0
77topaz Citizen
Default

And of course, that's not even taking into account the improvements quantum computing could bring - it's still a young industry, but could potentially deliver a new breakthrough in computing speeds.
__________________
My Traveller website: Explorer Base
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old February 4th, 2019, 01:50 AM
sudnadja sudnadja is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 262
Gallery : 0
sudnadja Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 77topaz View Post
And of course, that's not even taking into account the improvements quantum computing could bring - it's still a young industry, but could potentially deliver a new breakthrough in computing speeds.
That is the problem with science fiction in general, it tends to dramatically overestimate the advances in some technologies, and dramatically underestimate others. Earth will probably be at grandfather/ancients level computation ability when we get to the 3I era in reality, and still be a single-star-system species with no interstellar travel at all.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old February 14th, 2019, 08:43 PM
Condottiere Condottiere is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,636
Gallery : 0
Condottiere Citizen++Condottiere Citizen++Condottiere Citizen++Condottiere Citizen++
Default

Three nanometre factories are currently under construction in Taiwan.

I knew that carbon was considered as a cheaper substitute for silicon, what I think we used to jokingly call plastic chips; I believe they're now thinking of diamonds, which in that form can certainly tolerate high temperatures.

The performance of a computer certainly is effected by how many times it can cycle in a given period, how many instructions can be carried out per cycle, the byte size of the instructions, access to the data, and what other aspects can be tweaked; if the programme can be split up and channelled through multiple physical cores and virtual threads.

At the moment, there's a race to the smallest transistor; once that's reached, it will be cutting power usage and more sophisticated chip architecture, and then making the programmes themselves more efficient.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old February 17th, 2019, 06:14 PM
wellis wellis is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Walnut
Posts: 374
Gallery : 0
wellis Citizen
Default

Here is something I wonder. How fast can these computers warm up or boot up?

Or even just switch from programs?

If they're 1970's-ish in style/substance, are they sorta slow?
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old February 18th, 2019, 04:58 AM
MThompson016's Avatar
MThompson016 MThompson016 is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 190
Gallery : 4
MThompson016 Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Here is something I wonder. How fast can these computers warm up or boot up?

Or even just switch from programs?

If they're 1970's-ish in style/substance, are they sorta slow?
Considering the nature of large vehicle computers, they should be running at all times the ship is operating. Backups and program switching should be near instantaneous.

Also, consider the length of CT space turns at almost 17 minutes. For a computer, that's an eternity. Program switching should, at most, take a few minutes.

The way I see it, the boot process would be part of pre-flight checks if shut down during the stay, and be lengthy due to powering on and starting cooling systems. The system only gets shutdown when the crew needs to either go inside it to repair, inspect it, or upgrade the equipment. Back up subsystems would be in 'hot standby' during flight.
__________________
Take a look at my blog.

tc+ ?23 mgt+ !tm t20- !t4 !t5 !t6(LBB) tp- tg+ ?th ?to ru ge 3i c jt-- au- ls pi+ ta he+ kk++ hi+ as- va- dr ith+ vr ne so+ zh vi+ da sy
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Computers/Cyberpunk 'Problem' in Traveller. Ref00000 In My Traveller Universe 99 May 12th, 2014 06:55 PM
Computers!!!! shadowdragon The Fleet 47 April 14th, 2008 10:58 AM
Designed computers Vs. Ships Computers Norinn T20 - Traveller for the D20 System 1 May 31st, 2004 12:05 AM
Computers TNE/CT Villien Traveller: The New Era 16 October 22nd, 2003 02:02 PM

This website and its contents are copyright ©2010- Far Future Enterprises. All rights reserved. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.