Moore’s Law has held up for a surprisingly long time, but we can see the horizon now where current semiconductor technology won’t be able to keep up with the exponential improvement. It won’t be the end of the (tech) world if computers stop getting faster and faster at the same rate, but the shift might change several large industries. There are a few technological alternatives that could provide alternatives to our current computational standards. Quantum computers have promised a significant advance — if they can be built.
- Diamonds could be useful as a new semiconductor material, but it could also be used for quantum computing. Arrays of diamond crystal vacancies can be modified with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and observed with standard optical methods in order to create quantum computers. [url]
- Quantum computers are still custom and “hand made” machines, even after decades of development. It’s still quite difficult to build a general-purpose quantum computer. Fortunately, there have been some advancements in detecting qubit error rates, and scaling up the size of quantum computers is becoming more and more practical. [url]
- Physicists have discovered evidence that properties of samarium hexaboride might be useful for quantum computers. More and more materials have been found that exhibit Dirac electrons at super cold temperatures, so maybe we’re getting closer to building sizable quantum computers. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.