intel + altera shift, moores law, mobile, cpu^n, future, hardware design

462016_orighi all intel recently merged with Altera who are top makers of reconfigurable FPGAs. it has taken years for FPGAs to be integrated into big systems but we are starting to see better understanding of where they apply strengths. the idea is that custom algorithms can be implemented in the FPGAs at less cost/ power consumption and possibly higher efficiency. google/ microsoft seem to be pursuing initiatives in the area. microsoft has figured out how to couple Bing processing with them (faster! cheaper!).[d13] for a time Bitcoin mining was done on FGPAs but that has given way to custom ASICs. my prediction is that FPGA coding will continue to increase in use/ attn esp in “big data” type scenarios.

this gives me an excuse to unleash a batch of links that have been piling up in my bookmarks for years on CPU related topics but was waiting for a neat moment of timing. this is an exciting area but it has stabilized somewhat over the last few years due to moores law plateauing. this is not a widespread understanding, and big multibilliondollar companies that are built on it like Intel dont really want to exactly “announce” it. this flatlining is having major effects on the industry however. recently saw some analysis that the use of GPUs in deep learning may be up partly due to the plateauing of moores law. is there a scientific paper as important as Moores paper in announcing this plateauing? havent found one yet but please let me know if you do. also, moores paper this year celebrates its 50 year anniversary… really cant beat a paper with the word “cram” in the title![b15] it constitutes one of the most impressive engineering predictions/ observations/ phenomena in all of scientific history.

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more robotics fun at sparkfun/ boulder robot battle and autonomous vehicle competition

hi all! busy day, yesterday (jun 21st) went to the 2015 sparkfun boulder AVC (autonomous vehicle competition), 1st time there, had great time. more summer robotics. they had human-controlled robotic combat of lightweight robots in an enclosed plexiglass cage with a large spinning circular blade in the corner (a sort of “death trap field hazard” that could be used in the fighting strategy), and sparks and robots were literally flying, to big audience reactions and cheers. also a large autonomous race course spread out over their huge parking lot. lots of fun for the kids with various electronic exhibits (luved the hover pong! moving the paddle using a hand over a motion sensor!), video games, robot kits etc. didnt catch too much of the autonomous action, unfortunately got to it late and a single robot seemed stuck… maybe more action earlier? the entire event was taped/ livestreamed…

sparkfun is an amazing company, its built up to a massive warehouse facility (new huge site only a few yrs old) and ~140 employees in something like less than a decade, mainly selling robotic and electronic parts and kits. they have large training rooms. so lucky, managed to go on a brief floor tour!

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***startling*** collatz plateau!

:idea: :!: :!: :!: :?: this looks like it could be something very big! (this initially hazy idea has been poking me for a long time but was not able to articulate/ pin it down formally in logic/ code, but also building on some earlier ideas spread out in several places.) this is very simple code that just looks at how much of the (base 2) msbs of two sequences match, one is a “long (glide)” collatz sequence, and the other is a sequence with the same starting seed multiplied by 3x where x is the number of 3n+1 operations in the collatz sequence so far. the results are rather startling/ unexpected and yet somehow obvious in retrospect…?!? 3 separate runs graphed. this can apparently be theoretically justified (but need to think it out more): the initial plateau length perfectly matches/ coincides with the glide length. :o

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leading authorities weigh in on P vs NP proofs

Someone is wrong on internethi all more timely spring cleaning out my mountains of link piles. P vs NP has been a big topic in this blog but have pulled back on it somewhat myself to chase Collatz circles (surely equally impossible but still yet lower hanging fruit? does that make any “zen” sense?). but am always tracking it near at hand.

within the last year there have been a few notable blogs by leaders on the value of P vs NP proof attempts. RJLipton, Fortnow, Trevisan (a trifecta completed recently & partially triggering this post). there was also an archiv paper by undergraduate students of Hemaspaandra. usually there is a policy of “omerta”-like silence on these attempts. so its quite remarkable that these experts/ authorities are engaging with and/ or defending the efforts to some degree.

have been studying P vs NP attempts since the early 2000s or so (“intermittently”!). think they have some “)(” value but with great qualification on that. experts are busy and should never feel obligated to pay any attention. but encouraging others to attempt to respond in some way seems positive & minimally risky.

what truly amazes me are how many of these “attempts” (actually claims) that are by Phds, some of them from very elite schools worldwide. now one would not be surprised that attempts by undergraduates or people who have not even attended college would be bogus and not have much value. but when very highly trained Phds come up with unintelligible papers, it would seem to call into question our educational system to “some degree”. & so far no comment by any experts on that angle…

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bitcoin revolution advances

hi all at this point the bitcoin revolution seems to be in major force, possibly unstoppable & reaching the point of no return. one cannot even really keep up with all the major developments/ shifts, its overwhelming, but a few stand out over the last few months tracked in these links.

a few days ago Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison. its a case of sometimes the most innovative individuals being nearly indistinguishable from criminals. Ulbricht started one of the worlds 1st genuinely virtual corporations. seems to me it does us no good to either demonize or idolize him, both are extremes. he is a multidimensional character. few will admit it but quite possibly Silk Road had a lot to do with the rising early bitcoin economy due to its massive amount of transactions. there appears to be a definite “bootstrapping” effect here. there are now very good/ detailed accounts of the whole story eg in Wired & in new book(s) coming out.[a]

wall st is seizing the day with increasing bitcoin integration into trading systems. at this point when wall st has a stake in it, one can be fairly confident it will never be ruled illegal or be subject to major/ extreme government crackdowns.[b]

the international news is somewhat surprising and something that was long speculated is now happening. argentina has a collapsing currency due to a variety of factors, and the public is switching in a major way to bitcoin. this is a pivotal, near revolutionary development, and is likely not the 1st time this will happen, possibly just the beginning.[c]

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