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August 16, 2009

Blurring the Line Between Hardware and Software

Writing on the Foresight Institute website, J. Storrs Hall discusses how the boundary between hardware and software is becoming "fuzzier" as systems become more complex and nanotechnology becomes more important. With future use of nanocontrollers, the complexity of mechanical systems will accelerate to the point that "matter compilers" will be required for the design. This means that the nanotechnology designer will be using the same processes to design nanotechnology that today's software developers use to design and implement software. Dr. Hall predicts that the ability to write reliable software will become more and more important in the coming world of nanotechnology.  If he is right, this is further evidence that the problems that software has caused for patent law will begin to creep into the application of patent law to nanotechnology for the same reasons.

Dr. Hall is a leader in the field of molecular nanotechnology and president of the Foresight Institute. He is also known for coining the term Utility Fog, which is a hypothetical collection of nano-robots that unite to form a solid mass in the shape of any desired object.

Posted by BlogAuthor1 at August 16, 2009 10:57 AM
category: Design & Engineering | Miscellaneous | Philosophy of Computing

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