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This realization is somewhat pessimistic. Because of the energy limitations (before the device is uncomfortable to use/begins melting the chips), we aren't able to do everything on existing hardware even if the processors are capable of running at a high speed for a short time. There's a lot of research in hardware to build specialized processors that have fixed functions and so they are less energy intensive. For those who are writing code for devices with energy limitations, they can try to improve the energy costs of their program by decreasing the number of computations and data movement.