Top500 Computers Nov2015

The Top500 List is out for November 2015.  There were no changes in the top 5 fasted computers in the world, the top 5 is unchanged since June 2013.  The fastest system in the world is still a 17.8 MegaWatt system in China.   My theory on why the top 5 hasn't changed in 2 years is the high cost of sustaining such a system.  The cost of electric power is a dramatic limitation on future new advances in computing platforms.

Ray Kurzweil's predictions of machine intelligence did not comprehend the power consumption required.  Will there ever be a 100 MegaWatt system?.....maybe.  It's certainly feasible.  But I predict there will never be a 1 GigaWatt computing system. The power plant to supply it will be simply too expensive and too hot. 

I think the only way we will see a single system with 100 exaflop or faster performance is if there is a dramatic decrease in the picojoule per flop requirements.  This will require a profound change in the design of transistors.  More importantly it will require an almost shocking change in the i/o routing to get signals into and out of these new nanoswitches.  Such changes are not coming anytime soon regardless of what Moore's Law may predict.