The astonishingly accurate prediction of Gordon E. Moore – that computer power would double roughly every two years – is now enshrined as Moore’s law, and has held true for decades. But UC Irvine nanotechnology researchers are actively plotting to break it.
As we reach forever tinier, ever more densely packed computer circuits, we bump up against the weird world of quantum physics. This kingdom of the very small refuses to obey the rules of bulky classical physics; down here, everyone’s a lawbreaker. Yet mastering the strange rules of this alternative reality might not only open up a path to circumvent Moore’s law and break through the boundaries of classical physics. It also could yield computer power far beyond anything most of us can imagine today. A smart watch, perhaps, that can diagnose a developing
illness just by sampling chemicals oozing through your skin.
The researchers are laying the groundwork for computer circuits of the future, perhaps the size of the proteins found inside our cells – or, just maybe, using the proteins themselves as computer circuits, merging biology with computer science.