As you may recall, way back in the mists of time I penned an article that attempted to describe a plethora of different computing options, ranging from a "huge hairy CPU chip" at one end to a "great big pile of logic gates" at the other. Between these two extremes we passed through strange territories, such as "massively multi-core thingies".
As part of this effort, I wanted to come up with some graphical treatment as an aid to visualize all of these little rascals in the context of the computing universe. You wouldn't believe how long I slaved over this little scamp before coming up with the diagram shown below (clicking on this image will present you with a much larger and more detailed version).
Of course, you never know how different folks are going to take something like this – will they regard it as (a) a masterful summation of life, the universe, and everything or (b) the deluded ravings of a blithering idiot? Actually, as things turned out I was pleasantly surprised, because no one emailed me to say the diagram was wrong; instead, they emailed me to say things like: "you missed us out – our technology should appear just above xxx and just below yyy".
Max's "Computing Universe" Graphic
(Click this image to view a larger, more detailed version)
The really cool thing is that lots of companies are now using this diagram as part of their internal positioning; educators are presenting it to their students; and it's even started to appear in books (always with my permission of course), which is really rather cool.
The only downside is that this little scamp has grown into a "living-breathing" document, because I'm constantly having to update both the diagram and its associated Computing Universe paper. Just a few moments ago as I pen these words, for example, I added in a big new chunk on the combination of CPUs and FPGA-based hardware accelerators.
The end result is that I'm the victim of my own success; folks like my "computing universe" diagram and paper so much that they keep on asking me to change them ... if you see what I mean.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.