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Feb 28, 2001
Regarding whether we will ever reach 128-bit systems...

In a sense, we already have. CPUs are at 64 bit but they often contain FPUs (that do IEEE floating-point math) have reached 128 bits. Gaming systems have 128-bit or even 256-bit GPUs that do ultra-high-res graphics computation. If you consider the implications of a 64-bit address, that is something like 16 Exabytes. But there comes a point of diminishing returns here because even if you have 1 Gigabyte memory chips, you would need 16 million of them to saturate a 64-bit address space. They would be big enough that to have memories in that number, you would have to have very long memory buses and eventually the speed of light through those longer buses would start to slow you down. So until we can find other ways to rapidly and efficiently cram memory into a chip, I would take odds against 128-bit general-purpose computing systems being that practical.

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