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Old 04-15-2016, 11:30 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Near the GT eeehhhh...
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Originally Posted by joema View Post
Consider a much easier replication scenario than the human brain. A functioning Intel Xeon E7-8890 v3 (18 cores, 5.6 billion transistors) is sent back in time so an electronics researcher from 1958 could examine it and try to replicate it.

He could try to examine the signals with an oscilloscope, but his equipment could not resolve the gigahertz-rate bus signals.

He could de-cap it and look at it the die with an electron microscope, but this would not reveal the underlying operational principles. He could make a photomicrograph of the silicon die, but this would reveal nothing about the hidden functional complexity. It would not reveal the microcode, or anything about the immense complexity of the instruction decoding -- prefetching, dependency checking, branch prediction, hyperthreading, register scoreboarding. He could make a lithographic copy of that die and reproduce it to the degree 1958 technology allowed, but it would not function. It would be a child's crayon drawing of a machine, and would have about equal success of working.

If his boss asked what direction should they pursue to replicate it, he would likely say he doesn't know until he understands more about the internal function.
No Copying Allowed by John W Campbell presents a scenario where people from 1920 are baffled by a 1948 air-launched cruise missile. Same conclusion...