15 Sep

The Atlantic – If a MacBook Air Were as Inefficient as a 1991 Computer, the Battery Would Last 2.5 Seconds

Imagine you’ve got a shiny computer that is identical to a Macbook Air, except that it has the energy efficiency of a machine from 20 years ago. That computer would use so much power that you’d get a mere 2.5 seconds of battery life out of the Air’s 50 watt-hour battery instead of the seven hours that the Air actually gets. That is to say, you’d need 10,000 Air batteries to run our hypothetical machine for seven hours. There’s no way you’d fit a beast like that into a slim mailing envelope.

This is one fascinating consequence of a trend that Stanford consulting professor Jonathan Koomey has discovered in the history of computing. For the last 60 years, "the electrical efficiency of computation has doubled roughly every year and a half," according to Koomey’s latest paper in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.

via The Atlantic – If a MacBook Air Were as Inefficient as a 1991 Computer, the Battery Would Last 2.5 Seconds. Moore’s law finds it way into another part of the computer industry.