We will get more than 100 years of technology growth in the 21st century! I am just not so sure the acceleration will be exponential.
SInce 1971, computer hardware has grown very close to (Gordon) Moore's Law
. He co-founded Intel and postulated that chips / CPUs double about every 24 months in a very linear fashion, as they have from 1971 to 2007. CPU speed hit the wall at 4 GHz. Its not clear how the next doubling will be reached
, as chip density is very near the physical limits of silicon (heat, wire vs insulator thickneess). Intel, AMD and Montalvo Systems have basically grew from 2003 on by filling the bottom side of the board with transistors, dual and now quad core chips, to keep within physical limits, but bus communication limits the growth there.
Other, more exotic semi-conductor media is expensive and only slightly better that silicon; quantum computers (16 states versus 2 states) may take until 2040 or so, if Fehnmann's quantum electrodynamics ever becomes practical. It may turn out to be exponential overall, but its likely to come in spurts. Then again, Moore may be still be right in 2100.
And the "better than linear growth" of software is ahead of the hardware curve, right now. There is no better example of this than Vista. It has a lot of potential, but the hardware to make it run as fast as XP has not arrived yet. And as we give more and more CPU cycles to anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-whatever we seem to be losing ground. Nothing is immune to that, not Linux, Unix, map, or phones. There are over 1200 known bluetooth exploits.
Great gains are being made in spite of this, but nobody is close to exponential hardware / software improvement. The next leaps will probably be in the area of integration, like the iPhone. Its not really anything new. Phones have done texting, played music, had browsers, used 3G for some time. The iPhone is a revolutionary integration of tools in a very usable package. That may be where the major gains will come from in technology in the next decade, an perhaps that was what you meant.
I hope, and believe that somebody will break through the physical limits for chips, just like I hope somebody figures out a way to get to the other side or the universe and back while we can still see it. The consequence of the 1929
discovery that every star is moving away from every other star is that they will eventually be so far away that light will never reach other stars, night will eventually be black and distant space travel is getting harder by the second. Not a near term worry, but almost 80 years later, nobody has found a way around that phyical law.