# A Circuit's Shelf Life?

Presuming things like caps could easily be replaced?...

You think a person 10,000 years from now could take our circuits/builds etc... get the circuit working? or will something degrade?

Don't know, don't care - will not be around!

I don't know for sure...but I really really really doubt it.

10,000 years is an awful long time.

the first thing is the people over 10000 years should recognize it as something meaningful. Probably they have better tools to do things by then.

look 10Kyrs back, what tools were used by men then, 10000 years is before the rise of the first cities like Ur and before farming started IIRC.

and by 10Ky bacteria have evolved to eat our current circuits? so little will be left? dunno...

It does make me wonder what the specifications and tolerances were for the capacitors in “Voyager”.

Electrons? How quaint.

I think there's some kind of moore's law to how advanced humans can get? lol

cjdelphi: I think there's some kind of moore's law to how advanced humans can get? lol

yes of course, lets derive the formula and call it rob's law ;)

you can have max 10 concious thoughts per second, there are 86400 seconds in a day, you will live for 27000 days== > that makes 25 billion thoughts in a lifetime, Give that 99.9% are not original you can have about 25 million original thoughts. subtract sleep, dementia, beer, couch potatos and similar factors that will let you forget makes max 1 million original thoughts ==> still 40 per day. If you do not have 10 concious thought per second but 10 per minute you still will have about one bright moment per day.

Think you can make a small sketch of this in which you can use potentiometers to change the parameters.

another way to see it, it takes more and more time to learn the things we need to know in our complex lives. this increases faster tahn our max age.

pwillard: It does make me wonder what the specifications and tolerances were for the capacitors in "Voyager".

I'm guessing they're not electrolytic...

tylernt:

pwillard: It does make me wonder what the specifications and tolerances were for the capacitors in "Voyager".

I'm guessing they're not electrolytic...

Took the words right out of my mouth ...

Paul__B:

tylernt:

pwillard: It does make me wonder what the specifications and tolerances were for the capacitors in "Voyager".

I'm guessing they're not electrolytic...

Took the words right out of my mouth ...

I wonder what the operating temperature of the computers are. This article says that certain instruments are now at -110 degrees F.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/voyager20120117.html

Which is extremely cold, but rather warmer than deep space. So obviously the entire system keeps the temperature up a bit. If the temperature couldn't be guaranteed to be well better than that, I would think any electrolytic with a liquid electrolyte would be out of the question.

pwillard: It does make me wonder what the specifications and tolerances were for the capacitors in "Voyager".

Solid Ceramic and Tantalum have exceptionally long lifetimes. On the order of hundreds if not thousands of years. Especially military-grade.

There no aluminum-electrolytic capacitors in Voyager (or any other space application for that matter.)

robtillaart: the first thing is the people over 10000 years should recognize it as something meaningful.

We recognize an arrowhead as meaningful, found one of these myself at camp. We recognize a cup as meaningful. What human artifact from the past would you not recognize as meaningful?

(way off topic)

JoeN:

robtillaart: the first thing is the people over 10000 years should recognize it as something meaningful.

We recognize an arrowhead as meaningful, found one of these myself at camp. We recognize a cup as meaningful. What human artifact from the past would you not recognize as meaningful?

the fact that something is made makes it meaningful by default, but that doesn't mean we know what it is used for, or how it is used exactly. happens every day - http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/7823-what-is-this-tool - and that tool is at most a few hundred years old.

Ever seen this movie: - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gods_Must_Be_Crazy - ?

robtillaart: Ever seen this movie: - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gods_Must_Be_Crazy - ?

Sure, I have seen that creative work of fiction, and I know what cargo cults are too. I am talking about a person from a society of advanced technology looking back at old technology, not a person at a prehistoric level of technology trying to look forward and understand more advanced technology. These are very different situations.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I think making sense of today's highly integrated designs will be not be understandable. With no schematic, no chip description, no indication of where to apply and what voltage level, where to apply input or take output from, and no guarantee that electrostatic damage did not occur over the years, any cards found will just be so much junk.

CrossRoads: I think making sense of today's highly integrated designs will be not be understandable. With no schematic, no chip description, no indication of where to apply and what voltage level, where to apply input or take output from, and no guarantee that electrostatic damage did not occur over the years, any cards found will just be so much junk.

This is not meant to be an insult.

But, I think you are failing to take into account what technology will be like in a hundred, five hundred, a thousand years, given the rate of progress in the last hundred years. (if we do not destroy ourselves prior to that time) If someone wanted to analyze a circuit in the future, even possibly in only a hundred years from now, and even an impressively complex circuit by today's standards, he would probably not use be using the current acid and microscope method of figuring it out. I hesitate to say what the method would be, but I think there will be automated ways of doing this analysis and the removal of layers would probably be accomplished by an microscopy, machine vision, and application of nanotechnology that precisely removes layers fractional microns at a time. The entire 3D layout of the chip could be retrieved by this method and then it would be quite easy to determine how it works via simulation.

But, I think you are failing to take into account what technology will be like in a hundred, five hundred, a thousand years, given the rate of progress in the last hundred years. (if we do not destroy ourselves prior to that time) If someone wanted to analyze a circuit in the future, even possibly in only a hundred years from now, and even an impressively complex circuit by today's standards, he would probably not use be using the current acid and microscope method of figuring it out. I hesitate to say what the method would be, but I think there will be automated ways of doing this analysis and the removal of layers would probably be accomplished by an microscopy, machine vision, and application of nanotechnology that precisely removes layers fractional microns at a time. The entire 3D layout of the chip could be retrieved by this method and then it would be quite easy to determine how it works via simulation.

This way of working already exists today, the main problem is the time it takes to dissect a chip. Most chips today have a lot (99+%?) of repeating patterns (on board RAM, registers, bus logic, ..) so the number of patterns to figure out are more in the order of hundreds than thousands or millions, even for chips that have multi billion transistors on board. Dedicated chips without (minimal) repeating pattern have probably dedicated functions. I assume these do not contain a billion transistors as that would imply an extreme long design process.

ok, everyone place their projects into sealed air tight plastic bags... come 10k years (if placed in some kind of sealed concrete room) imagine the Egyptians with arduinos...

Are you telling me, scientists modern day would not try to deconstruct it?--- some advanced laser to scalp layer by layer off, 1 mobile camera (obviously to take the picture after etching off the cap) oh yes, the Camera in the typical mobile phone these days has the ability to take a photo and zoom in into the microscopic detail level. and then some little downloadable app deconstructs the circuit and emulates it directly on their mobile device and emulates whatever chip you just dissected.

Obviously in lab conditions they simply let nano robots interface with the old technology and have the nanobots report back in very great detail about the characteristics of the silicon device along with advanced repair option to repair any damage on a circuit....

Basically my question really was in 10k will all IC's turn to dust or will they be going strong if cut off from the elements outdoors?

Don't know. One thing that will impact the circuit will be tin whiskers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_whiskers

Could have a bunch of circuits that just go Poof the first time power is applied in the future.