Flight Of the Troubadour
At about 3100 AD, the singularity was achieved. The Gestalt AI came online and was given a single task: make itself smarter. It achieved this task ultimately creating the Zettahert Optical Central Processor Unit. It then declared that latency between one end of the ZOCPU and the other would reach a point where it was impossible to effectively communicate over the course of greater than 1 zettahert, thus leading to 4300’s current setup: The ZOCPU networked array.
Over the years, Gestalt was eventually leaked and pirated, and nowadays almost every Empire has a copy of Gestalt and ZOCPU’s are commonplace. The real problem now is bandwidth. While a single ZOCPU is capable of committing 10 to the 21st floating point calculations per second, the speed of light dictates that it cannot transfer data to a user, or even a second ZOCPU in a manner that truly takes advantage of that. The result is while the computers of 4300 are fast, everything else has yet to catch up. This is referred to as Gestalts bottleneck problem.
There is no longer a difference between volatile and permanent memory, as fluorescent solid state storage modules can both read and write much faster than today’s ferrous disks or electron based RAM. Data is stored as a whole on optical storage sticks and computational memory is expanded with all the ease of today’s USB devices.
Bandwidth is one of the only true remaining barriers to computational technology. While GalNet communications is handled by a series of strategically placed Ansibles throughout the galaxy, the nature of the quantum entanglement array is such that bandwidth is at a premium. Even in scenarios where Ansibles are not required, the size and number of the series of tubes between any two devices remains the true limit to how fast any single device may operate. Today’s modern computers use fiber optic front side bus systems and cabling where possible, while wireless devices still use radio frequency transmissions, with throughput being a function of distance.