Friday, April 25, 2008

Bits The Size of Atoms (or smaller)

"The end point of Moore's Law (which holds that computers get faster by a factor of two every year and a half or so) is a computer so powerful that it uses individual atoms to store bits of information: one atom, one bit. If we were able to work at subatomic scales and store bits on electrons or quarks, we might go further. But let's stick with what we know we can do.

If current rates of miniaturization persist, your PC will store one bit on one atom sometime around 2050. But it's natural to ask whether we can, in fact, achieve a bit-to-atom correspondence. Remarkably, prototype computers that store bits on individual atoms already exist in the laboratory. These computers are called quantum computers, because they store and process information at scales where the laws of quantum mechanics hold sway."

Loyd, Seth, Riding D-Wave, Technology Review Inc., May/June 2008, accessed on web at: on April 25, 2008.

A read of this article makes one aware that there is still plenty we don't know and are not sure of, but the fact that so much money and interest are generated by this approach suggests one way or another we will get there. The question is how soon?

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