Computers Of The Future – What Will They Be Like? A Quantum Leap Ahead!

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We all get excited every time new computers get more powerful and hold more stuff. Just hold tight as computers take the next giant step in a few short years. We've seen the computer shrink in size as the 'microchip' becomes smaller and smaller. Now, scientists know that we can reduce the size of the same tasks down to the size of single atom! These are some of the more interesting developments in computer technology.

Quantum Computers are the future …

The weird world of quantum mechanics does not follow the laws of classical physics at all. A quantum bit (qubit) does not exist in the typical 0 or 1 binary state of today's computers – a quubit can exist in either, plus a blend of both states. This minor-sounding difference is the reason quantum transistors will enable a computer to operate 1,000,000,000 times faster than current computers! If you think a computer running at 4 GHz is fast, try one running at 40,000 GHz as predicted. While there are many hurdles to overcome, new techniques and discoveries are being made every day. Many people think that quantum computers could have a reality within just 5 to 10 years.

Optic Computers and Photonics are making progress …

Optic Computers take advantage of the speed of light rather than the speed of electricity, which makes them a good choice for data transmission. Electricity only flows at about 1/10 of the speed of light, but optic or photonic transistors should be able to operate thousands of times faster than today's computers. Already, fiber optic cables are common, but optics will soon be used for switches in computers. Individual photons can be directed to create the off / on switch used in transistors. But, unlike electricity, light beams can travel 'through' each other, eliminating the need for the bulky paths of conventional wiring. This will enable the optic computer to be as small as needed for any application.

Nanodot Storage could be the new hard drive storage …

A nanodot can be 50 nanometers wide and has north and south poles like a magnet. It can respond to outside changes, which makes it a prime candidate for storage. Current research shows that a nanodot drive could hold more than 100 times the capacity of a current hard drive in a much smaller space. Nanodot storage is not too far away, and will revolutionize the way we look at information storage.

Spintronics – another promising yet weird type of storage …

Current computer memory has limits now that manufacturing processes are approaching limits on the size of transistors. Beside that, computer RAM (temporary memory storage) loses information when the computer is switched off. Now that things are at the quantum level, new possibilities are emerging. One field, called 'Spintronics', measures the 'spin' on an electron. Better yet, even when the computer is shut down, the information is not lost. Spintronic memory works with just a few atoms, probably on a surface created by ingaas fabrication (indium gallium arsenide), a promising new material.

Nanotubes and Grapene instead of silicone chips …

Today's computer chips sit on a silicone wafer, but the future computer may use nanotube fabrication or graphhene fabrication instead. A graphhene sheet is only one atom thick, and a nanotube is a 'rolled up' sheet of graphene with a diameter of one nanometer. These are considered the future of transistor manufacturing because these structures have excellent properties, such as electrical conduction, good strength and efficient heat properties, plus they can be used for many other types of materials as well.

Going Ballistic – deflecting electrons like a pinball game …

The ballistic deflection transistor bounces atoms around to create a new type of computer transistor. This atomic transistor can operate at terahertz speeds, over a thousand times faster than today's computer, as suggested by a Rochester team developing the technology. Computer chips made with BDT technology would be easy to manufacture and could just be the next wave in computer technology.

While not comprehensive, these are some of the coming trends of the future computer. They may sound like distant dreams, but they are all real, they are all being developed, and will be in your computer store sooner than you imagined.

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