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Physicist Proposes a New Type of Computing 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the marble-based-computation dept.
SpankiMonki writes "Joshua Turner, a physicist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has proposed using the orbits of electrons around the nucleus of an atom as a new means to generate the binary states used in computing. Turner calls his idea orbital computing. Turner points to recent discoveries (including a new material that allows rapid switching of its electron states and new low-power terahertz laser technology) that could lead to the development of a computer with vastly improved performance over current technologies."
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Physicist Proposes a New Type of Computing

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  • Re:Ray was right! (Score:4, Informative)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @03:42PM (#46467485)

    You're making up numbers. We've had billions of transistors on chips for some time now. The XBox One's main chip has five billion transistors. And that's just one chip. The Titan supercomputer has nearly 200 trillion transistors.

    If the transistor doubling time remains about the same, you can equate any number of transistors you like to a neuron and Kurzweil's prediction still won't be off by much. Such is the nature of exponential curves. Sophisticated objections to his predictions don't involve transistor counts.

    Nobody knows how much of a neuron you need to build a brain. If you actually have to simulate it, possibly at the quantum level, then no number of transistors may be sufficient. You can probably get around that problem by not using regular transistors though. Sufficient artificial neurons might actually be easier to build - noise and interference are probably not as harmful as they are in regular computing, and may actually be beneficial.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin