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Science Technology

Physicist Proposes a New Type of Computing 60

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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  • by Tyler Durden ( 136036 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @03:21PM (#46467205)
    When I first read the headline I thought the physicist was offering a computational model alternative to the Turing Machine. It sounds like he's offering a new type of computer, not computing.
  • Re:Ray was right! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @03:37PM (#46467411)

    For one thing, in his estimates he adheres to the transistor = neuron fallacy.

    To be fair, a digitally-switching transistor is almost infinitely simpler than a neuron, but you could make the argument that a transistor configured in analog mode that summed several inputs and acted as a decision maker is much closer to a neuron. The trick is getting all of those transistors working together in some sort of "analog computer" fashion, as the brain's network reconfigures itself quite a bit, which is a lot harder to achieve at billion-scale on a die.

    Who's got the money to pony up for some experimental fab runs for billions of transistors with reconfigurable mesh network? This is basically an Intel i7 fab process we're talking about here, so think beeeeelions of dollars.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.