Most of you reading this have heard of Moore’s Law and most of you are familiar with the idea of the technological singularity and that Moore’s law is just one element on that exponential curve. Other elements include the steady reduction in cost of that computing. This in turn relates to the shrinking time and cost of decoding a genome … if you want to learn more about all that just head over to the Singularity Hub and do some reading, or watch a few Ray Kurzweil interviews.
But I’ve been thinking about batteries and other forms of power storage. We have exoskeletons now that enable the crippled to walk and, if you check out ‘Boston Dynamics’ on You Tube you’ll find some excellent robots. But these exoskeletons, even though they have FDA approval and are being trailed in America have unwieldy and short-lived power packs, while the robots you mostly see are running at the end of a power cable. We need smaller or more powerful batteries, super- and ultra-capacitors so, what I was wondering is, is there a Moore’s Law for batteries? Opinions vary:
“Energy efficiencies have gotten pretty good…but the scary thing when you look at it from a capacity and efficiency standpoint with regard to weight and volume, it hasn’t really changed that much. It’s clearly improving, and I think costs have gotten a little bit better, but not all that much either. When you compare it with the electronics that we’re using it with and Moore’s Law, it’s basically standing still,”
...because there’s not currently a Moore’s Law for batteries, and I’m doubtful that we’re going to ever hit a Moore’s Law-style pace of accelerated progress and lowered costs for batteries. Yes, batteries will come down in price and become smaller, but at nowhere near the same speed — and with a lot less progress — as to be able to be compared to Moore’s Law.
Sure, the Moore’s Law of electric cars – “the cost per mile of the electric car battery will be cut in half every 18 months” — will steadily drive the cost down, says Agassi, but only once we get scale production going. U.S. companies can do that on their own or in collaboration with Chinese ones.
But I guess we have to remember what an exponential curve looks like and remember we might not be on the rapid up slope with batteries – on this one we might well be right down in the bottom left of that blue box.
What do you think?