We start just a little before 1966 (when the first show of the TV series was aired, which would technically be the first 45 years) to get a sense of technology and the world while the Star Trek show was in its development phase through to today.
In 1964, Roddenberry secured a three-year development deal with leading independent TV production company Desilu (founded by comedy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz). In Roddenberry's original concept, the protagonist was named Captain Robert April of the "S.S. Yorktown". Eventually, this character became Captain Christopher Pike. The first pilot episode, "The Cage", was made in 1964, with actor Jeffrey Hunter in the role of Pike after Roddenberry's first choice, Lloyd Bridges had reportedly turned it down.
TV screens increased from an average size of 21 inches for the 1980s-90s to up to 32 inches and 37inches in 2007.
A floating point multiplication took ten cycles, while a division took 29, and the overall performance considering memory delays and other issues was about 3 MFLOPS. Using the best available compilers, late in the machine's history, FORTRAN programs could expect to maintain about 0.5 MFLOPS.
The first minicomputer, built by Digital Equipment (DEC). It cost $16,000. 50,000 were sold (the most of any computer up to that time).
There are now supercomputers with over one petaflop of performance. This is one billion times faster than computers at the start of Star Trek. Broadband communication speeds of 10 mbps-100mbps are generally available.
Future of Television and Displays
Future television will have larger screens (60 inch average size for 2015) and high resolution and lower energy usage. Displays will be built into more surfaces and windows. There will also be holographic displays and environments.
Holographic television appears likely to begin around 2020.
the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will be starting a public-private partnership to develop technology for SHV in the hopes of setting an international standard for Super Hi-Vision in addition to broadcasting with it beginning in 2015 Super Hi Vision (7680 × 4320 pixels) has 16 times the pixel resolution of maximum HDTV (maximum resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels
Red Digital Cinema Camera Company is making far higher resolution digital cameras and video players at far lower costs.
Red Video players are being prototyped and demonstrated.
Red Camera has developed a wavelet compression that compresses video by 700 times or more. Compression is to 10 MBs.
Intel is developing Claytronics, which will use all digital radios.
1. Claytronics catom components are now millimeter size in the lab and will be micron size in 5-10 years.
2. Intel will have all digital multi-radios in 2009. Digital components can be miniaturized far better than analog and can have benefits in terms of performance.
3. Intel has a solid roadmap to 11nm lithography in 2015.
4. If micron sized claytronic catoms were pixels then resolution would be 20,000 X 30,000 or three hundred times better than HDTV or 20 times better than Super Hi Vision.
Future of Computers
DOE is getting a 20 petaflop supercomputer from IBM for 2011.
NASA and Intel are developing a 10 petaflop computer for 2012.
Exaflop supercomputers could be possible as early as 2015
On chip photonic communications and other re-architecting of computers can enable zettaflop supercomputers.
Multi-Zettaflop supercomputers and petaflop portable computers are something for the 2022-2030 timeframe. There would still be 20-30 years left until 2052.
Three dimensional plasmonic computers that harness nanoparticle size components will be one of many new architectures that will be used to move beyond zettaflops.
Nader Engheta (University of Pennsylvania, firstname.lastname@example.org) argued that nano-particles, some supporting plasmon excitations, could be configured to act as nm-sized capacitors, resistors, and inductors -- the basic elements of any electrical circuit.
The circuit in this case would be able to operate not at radio (10**10 Hz) or microwave (10**12 Hz) frequencies but at optical (10**15 Hz) frequencies. This would make possible the miniaturization and direct processing of optical signals with nano-antennas, nano-circuit-filters, nano-waveguides, nano-resonators, and may lead to possible applications in nano-computing, nano-storage, molecular signaling, and molecular-optical interfacing.
A fully three dimensional computer with nanoparticle elements and optical compute frequencies and an inherently massively parallel processing structure would have another million or billion times speed boost beyond zettaflops.
Follow ups to this article will look at the future of
- Space Access
- Energy Production