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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Computers in 10 Years What Will It Be Like?

When computers first came into existence during the 20th century, the computers took up entire rooms and were only able to perform simple mathematical formulas. In addition, these computers had to be rewired and reprogrammed every time the operators needed to change or update a function. Today’s technology advances are allowing computers to become more powerful and much smaller every year. Think about it, how big was your first computer and what is the size of the computer your using now? Chances are the computer you have now is much smaller and more powerful than your first computer. If we continue on this path towards small powerful computers, what will our computers look like in ten years?

Imagine your next computer being based upon a glass of water. While today you need to avoid getting water anywhere near your computer and electronics in general, researchers have already demonstrated that water is able to create an ultra-dense storage system that computers and other electronic devices can use. Researchers have developed a method to use small amounts of water to stabilize the memory bits of nanowire that is barely three-billionths of a meter wide. As this technology progresses we may find that water will increase the memory and storage capacity of our computers and allows us to use new and different materials in our computers and technology.

Maybe, your next computer will not be based on a glass of water but what is living in the water. A computer built from E. Coli bacteria has already successfully started to solve mathematical puzzles. The bacteria computer actually completed a mathematical problem faster than a standard computer based upon the silicon CPU chip. Bacteria computing is based upon the idea of DNA computing and can actually process the same data we use our computers for today. Each strand of DNA is able to process bits of data independently while still creating a useable whole. Ok, it may not be appealing to have a dish of bacteria sitting on your desk but DNA computing is one technological advancement that researchers are working on daily and we will see the technology learnings applied to our computers in the future.

If bacteria is not your idea of a perfect computer, why not consider a magnetic trap that holds quantum qubits. Qubits are very similar to the bits we currently use to represent data in our computers. In our computers today, the bits store data as either a 0 or 1 which is considered very linear (there is only two choices and no in-between). When using qubits, we can represent data as 0, 1, or both 0 and 1 at the same time, instead of data being very linear qubits allow our data to become 3-dimensional. When one qubit interacts with another qubit, we create a quantum qubit computing platform that is the basis for 3-dimensional computing. Once we start to use quantum qubits in our computers we will not need to represent 3D images on our computer screen because they will be created around us in the magnetic trap process the qubits.

If your a person on the go, you probably own at least one portable laptop computer. Ten years from now, your entire portable computing process may change as well. Instead of carrying a heavy computer, it would be much nicer to have a piece of expensive jewelry instead? Diamonds actually make much faster computer chips than the current silicone we use, however since natural diamonds are very expensive we continue to use silcone. Currently advances in technology and our knowledge of geological processes has opened up the ability to create diamonds in a lab. Man-made diamonds are virtually identical to diamonds made by the earth. Since we no longer need to wait for the earth to produce the diamonds we need for our computers all we need is for the price of man-made diamonds to become affordable. Then CPU manufacturers will begin to create computer chips that are much faster than the computers we have now and and we can begin to move toward jewelry as a computer.

Finally, our computers may become a pile of photosensitive molecules. Molecular computing focuses on similar ideas to DNA computing and creates a process where the computational power of individual molecules is harnessed to create faster processing. Photosensitive molecules can use the energy of light to fuel the computing power of the molecules. Researchers believe that molecules and molecular computing will create faster computer that are more cost efficient, save energy, and are smaller in size.

Whatever our computers look like in ten years, one thing is for certain, we will be using smaller computers with more power. Researchers may be pushing computing processes to the extreme but every day new advances in DNA and molecular computing are pushing the envelope and creating faster computers based upon materials that surround us in life.


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