Usually, we don’t report on hardware advances in the comptuer industry but the announcement this past week, in separate statements, by Intel and IBM has the potential to affect the geospatial industry. According to company statements, new microprocessor chips will be designed with different material designed to stop electrical leakage of the 45 nanometer chip designs. In a statement by Intel, "By using a new material combination of high-k gate dielectrics and metal gates, Intel’s 45nm transistors significantly improve performance to deliver faster multi-core processors that consume less power."
I remember in the late 80’s when the 386 chip was intoduced and I was able to a run speedy version of Autocad. It seemed a real breakthrough for desktop computers and consequently for compute-intensive software like CAD and GIS.
The statement by Intel also suggested that Moore’s Law will "thrive well into the next decade." Even as we move more software to the web, we will still find a need for desktop GIS software. This announcement offers the possibility that as we want more analytical capabilities with even better integration of multiple data types, that computers will support the expectations of users.