Intel predicts the increased demand for what it calls the 'compute continuum' will result in a mind blowing 1,200 quintillion transistors in the world by the year 2015.

Today there are more than 4 billion connected devices in the world and that move to mobility has created "an unprecedented demand for the most fundamental enabler for the digital age – the transistor," said Paul Otellini, Intel CEO, today at the Intel Developer Forum.

In terms of the number of transistors this transition to pervasive connectivity led to a huge surge in the early 2000's, reaching around 5 quintillion transistors by 2005.

In the five years since then demand has grown exponentially, by around fifteen times, to around 80 quintillion by the end of 2010.

The continued explosion of connected devices and the subsequent data centres needed to cater for them has driven this continual rise.

Intel estimates the number of transistors needed to store, manage and interpret the data we'll all create over the next five years will take us past the one sextillion mark.

The exponential rise in transistor usage

That's 1,000 quintillions.

"This makes the transistor usage over the last three decades look like a flat line by comparison," said Otellini.