All good things come to an end. We have been riding the gravy train that is silicon for a very long time. It is plentiful, cheap and easy to work with. But it has its limits, which are painfully obvious at this point.
It looks as though quantum computing is still a long way off and its benefits questionable. As a matter of fact, there are algorithms which can make a recent computer run very much like a basic quantum computer, almost nullifying years of work and the billions spent on research.
So, what will we see replace our aging infrastructure? There are two major contenders that look promising.Photonics
- Instead of sending electrical pulses through our motherboards, CPUs, and RAM, why not pulses of light? This is being worked out right now. This concept is very viable and the benefits are many. A lack of heat, far less power consumption and incredibly fast and broad data transmission just to name a few.Diamond Substrate
- The problem with silicon is that we have reached its limits in terms of heat. An overclock reaching 5GHz will turn our CPUs into goo without extreme forms of heat dissipation. For quite a while now, we have had the ability to bond carbon atoms to cheaply grow diamonds, which can withstand far greater temperatures than silicon. This could allow for clock speeds as high as 200GHz. Notice that this article was written in 2003.
Are we there yet?
8GB 1600 RAM
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it?