Friday, January 6th 2012

World's Smallest Silicon Wire Leads To Atomic-Scale Computing, Moore's Law Continues

News of quantum breakthroughs seem to be coming every few months now, edging ever closer towards the hallowed goal of building a quantum computer using quantum qubits rather than classical bits and bringing colossal improvements in computational power. This will eventually lead to applications that we can't even imagine now and possibly a true artificial intelligence of the kind one sees in the movies. Also, it would allow calculations that would normally take longer than the lifetime of the universe on a classical computer to be made in just a few seconds or minutes on a quantum one. A goal well worth striving for.

The latest breakthrough comes from the University of New South Wales, Melbourne University and Purdue University who have developed the smallest wire yet. It's a silicon nanowire, having the tiny dimensions of just one atom high and four atoms wide. This is a feat in itself, but the crucial part is that the wire is able to maintain its resistivity even at this atomic level, making it far easier for current to flow, thereby preventing the tiny wire from becoming useless. This will help with the continuation of Moore's Law, giving us ever more powerful computers at the present rate and opens the door to quantum computing within the next decade.

TechEYE has a more detailed article about this development. This is based on an ABC Radio interview with Michelle Simmons from the University of New South Wales and makes for fascinating listening.
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53 Comments on World's Smallest Silicon Wire Leads To Atomic-Scale Computing, Moore's Law Continues

#1
Damn_Smooth
I wonder how old I'll be before I see this.
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#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
At this rate, not much older! :)
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#3
Damn_Smooth
by: qubit
At this rate, not much older! :)
And here I am thinking that Ivy is impressive.
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#4
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Damn_Smooth
And here I am thinking that Ivy is impressive.
Yeah, it's all relative, isn't it?

Think about it, our brains work at the quantum level, which gives us our "intelligence" and have billions of connections ie neurons. Quantum computers will allow us to emulate this in machine form and bring us incredible improvements in AI. Imagine playing something like Half-Life and actually talking with the characters in real time with them making real-time decisions over what happens next. Mind you, the AI might get pissed off at being trapped in a video game...

I tell ya, Skynet is closer than you think, so watch out for that terminator. :p
Posted on Reply
#5
Damn_Smooth
by: qubit
Yeah, it's all relative, isn't it?

Think about it, our brains work at the quantum level, which gives us our "intelligence" and have billions of connections ie neurons. Quantum computers will allow us to emulate this in machine form and bring us incredible improvements in AI. Imagine playing something like Half-Life and actually talking with the characters in real time with them making real-time decisions over what happens next. Mind you, the AI might get pissed off at being trapped in a video game...

I tell ya, Skynet is closer than you think, so watch out for that terminator. :p
Shit, I ain't scared of no terminator. I still have the pink handbag you gave me.

I will miss enemies that line up to let me shoot them though.
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#6
Andrei23
can't wait till we get life-like robot female sex slaves
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#7
Damn_Smooth
by: Andrei23
can't wait till we get life-like robot female sex slaves
That will be the end of mankind. Unless they produce humans in a lab.
Posted on Reply
#8
Trackr
by: qubit
At this rate, not much older! :)
I'm afraid you're wrong, there, unfortunately.

The entirety of the computer industry rests upon profit made from consumers.

As long as companies want to make money, newer and better technology will take a long time.

Now, what would be ideal, is if every government in the world completely disbands their military and uses the combined 100+ Trillion dollars towards the kind of technology mentioned in this editorial.

If this does not happen, out great-great-great grandchildren will hate us for holding back their civilization as much as we hate Christianity in the dark ages.
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#9
Jarman
thats the way civilisation is...who is to say that it's a GOOD thing to get this much computing power? Why do you want computers that can emulate human emotions perfectly?!
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#10
Trackr
by: Jarman
thats the way civilisation is...who is to say that it's a GOOD thing to get this much computing power? Why do you want computers that can emulate human emotions perfectly?!
The human emotional thing is just personal preference.

Computational power is the ONLY important thing in the universe.

Every single thing we as human being want takes us a measurable amount of time to create.

Infinitely powerful computers could do.. anything.

It's the only way we'll ever know or have anything of true value.
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#11
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Trackr


It's the only way we'll ever know or have anything of true value.
sorry to make this personal but, you must live a sad life :cry:
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#12
Trackr
by: Easy Rhino
sorry to make this personal but, you must live a sad life :cry:
No, I just have a firm belief (or hope) that either:

1.) Computers will become "smart" enough by the time I am not too old.
or
2.) Human scientists will find a way to prevent cell degradation by the time I am not too old, and/or reverse cell degradation by the time I die.
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#13
fullinfusion
1.21 Gigawatts
by: Trackr
No, I just have a firm belief (or hope) that either:


2.) Human scientists will find a way to prevent cell degradation by the time I am not too old, and/or reverse cell degradation by the time I die.
lol they can already do that but you think the government want ppl living well into there hundreds? You know how much Old age pension's they would have to pay out...

Im not anti government... I just hate being continually fucked by them and they still want more.

-that's all-
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#14
Covert_Death
lol well i think if you choose to stop aging then pensions are off the table lol, if you can live like your 20 for 100 years then i say you have to WORK like your 20 for 100 years
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#15
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
people put to much faith in computers and humanities ability to use them. be careful what you wish for.
Posted on Reply
#16
happita
by: Easy Rhino
people put to much faith in computers and humanities ability to use them. be careful what you wish for.
^
this
Posted on Reply
#17
Trackr
by: Easy Rhino
people put to much faith in computers and humanities ability to use them. be careful what you wish for.
People should put all their faith in computers.

Humanity's ability to use them.. not so much.

But whatever, I don't mind if they fuck it up, as long as it exists.
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#18
twicksisted
Thats all very cool and all but can it play (insert game name here)
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#19
TurdFergasun
by: fullinfusion
lol they can already do that but you think the government want ppl living well into there hundreds? You know how much Old age pension's they would have to pay out...

Im not anti government... I just hate being continually fucked by them and they still want more.

-that's all-
who cares what the government thinks, i don't want humans living any longer, we fuck up enough stuff with the time we've already got. more us is definitely the reverse solution to all our problems.

only follow this link if you aren't an easily offended cabbage head, or just follow it and be offended, either way....NSFW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgDhDa4HHo
Posted on Reply
#20
twicksisted
by: TurdFergasun
who cares what the government thinks, i don't want humans living any longer, we fuck up enough stuff with the time we've already got. more us is definitely the reverse solution to all our problems.
So you wouldnt object to a chosen global elite coming in and wiping you and your family off the face of the earth then ;)

Have to start somewhere with the cull!
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#21
Prima.Vera
by: Trackr

2.) Human scientists will find a way to prevent cell degradation by the time I am not too old, and/or reverse cell degradation by the time I die.
Why? Do you want to live forever?
Posted on Reply
#22
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Easy Rhino
people put to much faith in computers and humanities ability to use them. be careful what you wish for.
Skynet...
Posted on Reply
#23
Jarman
idk, be thankful for what you've got..coputational power is the only thing important in the universe,
What a narrow minded and sad comment- go outside. All this "progress" comes with a cost.

If somebody offered me infinite computational power, but the world is so polluted I can't go outside and enjoy the countryside/mountains where I live in Wales, I would tell them to shove it.

Don't get me wrong, I love a new graphics card as much as the next enthusiast, but I don't take my sandy bridge out of it's socket every night to have a toss over it...
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#24
Trackr
by: Prima.Vera
Why? Do you want to live forever?
Essentially.

If I do get "tired" of living, I'd prefer to be put into a coma instead of die.

If you die, you can NEVER exist again. You can never think again. All that you are, in every possible way.. will be gone for all time.

I suppose I've never been able to accept that.
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#25
Trackr
by: Jarman
idk, be thankful for what you've got..coputational power is the only thing important in the universe,
What a narrow minded and sad comment- go outside. All this "progress" comes with a cost.

If somebody offered me infinite computational power, but the world is so polluted I can't go outside and enjoy the countryside/mountains where I live in Wales, I would tell them to shove it.

Don't get me wrong, I love a new graphics card as much as the next enthusiast, but I don't take my sandy bridge out of it's socket every night to have a toss over it...
Actually, my argument was that sufficient computational power would make pollution impossible.

But you're right - I didn't mean that it was the only important thing.

Obviously, life and happiness are the only thing that is important. But with infinitely powerful computers, we could experience such things at magnitudes higher scales.
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