Factors influening harware development

Hi there,

I've been given a min 25 page report to write at Uni, i've opted to write about the factors which influence hardware development. So i intend writing about things like:
*slow access speeds influencing the drive for improved data transfer rate in HDD (ATA -> SATA -> ?)

*the constant demand for more raw processing power and the almost constant strive for increased miniaturisation and ultimately more components etc on a chip

* etc, essentially what bottlenecks/hindrances have existed or still exist that have been picked up on by hardware manufacturers/developers/researchers that have in turn affected the 'current state of the art' / what are the limitations bottlenecks of existing hardware
I'm not after answers! What i'm after is any links (i have to reference my material) to sites which discuss such issues or any papers/abstracts etc.

I am of course looking myself but need to cast the net wider. I know a little, but need specific material to refer to and obviously need to read a lot of stuff, i only have 500 points to give and will have to share them amongst the best 2/3.

Hope you can help - Any help much appreciated!

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I completely understand your post. Although in general "asking for help with homework" isn't allowed here, I think these days using communities like EE HAS to be a part of assignments. It's quite impossible to know everything, so one should learn how to look for answers interactively, in a fast and accurate way. What better way to do this than with EE ;)

Hm, if you're into hardware, I guess you know the well-known and respected sites like tom's hardware guide, anandtech, overclockers, ...
I think you can just go through their recent posts and archive, and find quite some developments that have eliminated bottlenecks.

Eg: AMD's HyperTransport bus - I wonder why they didn't come up with that kind of technology before. Quite more logical, efficient and cheaper to just build "highways", capable of running much more intensive loads than they may ever have to handle, from key coponent to key component - in stead of making a component, and linking it up with it's own small bus.

But, can you give a bit more info about your question - I can give you some 50 links, but I don't know how relevant they will be to you...
I always loved making reports and presentations, sometimes I regret dropping out of school... But hey, thank god for the webby and self study :)
Babycorn-StarfishAuthor Commented:
Hi Gaud-wo,

thanks for the post.

The assignment is not for a particular module as such. We have been asked to write a report basically to prove that we can structure one! It's a first year, semester one thing i assume to weed out the timewasters (i assume).

We were given a list of subject areas:
E-Learning, Wireless Communication, Artificial Intelligence, Network Security, Hardware Development and one other whose title eludes me.
We were then told that we should devise our own titles/question, and as such i have chosen to write about what has driven hardware development in the last 4/5 years to get it to it's current state, specifically identifying the bottlenecks that engineers/developer have identified and subsequently overcome. I haven't decided upon my exact report title that i will use but it may resemble the question title i used here, although i'd spell influencing correctly!

If we were in a library i'd basically be asking "Where are the computer hardware books please?".

Anything at all would be appreciated, i'm just after something to read, digest and ideally write about.


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pci has been the slow thing in the last 4-5 years and that has been overcome with pci-e (serial pci if you will)

Memory has gone from pc133 about 7 years ago to upcoming ddr2

Processors have gone from about 500Mhz 6 years ago to possibly 4Ghz cpus next year

Hyperthreading and hypertransport are interesting ideas from both the intel camp and AMD. Next year we could see maybe implementations of both on the same machine as the other camp tries to reverse engineer the other camps idea! These ideas were not in the hardware designers head 5 years ago.

Hard disks sppeds are graduly moving faster as well from around 40Mbs on pio mode 4 to next year double pumped sata at around 300Mbs


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Some good examples of bottlenecks that have been picked up from IanTh there.
So you've got Peripherals (PCI, USB, FireWire, ...); Storage (SATA, RAID, ...), Memory (DDR, Dual Channel, on-die memory controllers), mainboards (all above mentioned onboard, LAN removed from PCI bus - Marvel PHI), ..

But not only bottlenecks, the whole power-consumption and heat-dissipation situation has shifted completely. Intel used to be silent, cool and quiet, and the top performers. Now they are power-eating, heat radiating (and thus noise making), and they don't match AMD any more (ok, but for the latest few launches of CPU's, I'm waiting for the first independent reviews).

I gave my most important sources in my post above - and I also check the mfg's websites (AMD, Intel, NVidia, Asus, ...) and get quite some newsletters.
Imho the only way to really know all these things, is just to keep track of what used to be and what is changing right now... And that isn't something you can learn from a given number of sites, it requires a few hours of weekly "study" - but I don't think of it as studying, more like relaxing - cfr reading a book.

Don't know any sites where you can view comprehensive comparisations between past, present and future technologies  and interbrand comparisations all in one...
Babycorn-StarfishAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help guys, not really what i was after but thanks for the input; you've reaffirmed some of the areas I had initially identified and thrown a few others into the mix. I was, as per my first post, after some good web based resources to read from but should now be able to widen my search.

Thanks again.


Oh, I had to start work on the report hence my cutting the response short.
Good luck!
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