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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the well-its-worth-a-try dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"Physicist proposes a new type of computing at SXSW (South-by-SouthWest Interactive), known as orbital computing. From the article:

A physicist from SLAC who spoke at SXSW interactive has proposed using the state changes in the orbits of electrons as a way to build faster computers. The demand for computing power is constantly rising, but we're heading to the edge of the cliff in terms of increasing performance - both in terms of the physics of cramming more transistors on a chip and in terms of the power consumption. We've covered plenty of different ways that researchers are trying to continue advancing Moore's Law - this idea that the number of transistors (and thus the performance) on a chip doubles every 18 months - especially the far out there efforts that take traditional computer science and electronics and dump them in favor of using magnetic spin, quantum states or probabilistic logic.

A new impossible that might become possible thanks to Joshua Turner, a physicist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, who has proposed using the orbits of electrons around the nucleus of an atom as a new means to generate the binary states (the charge or lack of a charge that transistors use today to generate zeros and ones) we use in computing."

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:36AM (#15100)

    So you are saying we should all get rid of our fancy time-saving abstraction layers in favor of bare metal ultra optimised code for every application? Sure, we could do that. I assume you'll be willing to put your money where your mouth is and wait longer while paying one or two orders of magnitude more for your software and games than you do right now?

    No?

    I thought so.

  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday March 13 2014, @01:47PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday March 13 2014, @01:47PM (#15852)

    I never said anything about having bare-metal code. In fact, many times modern compilers get better performance with RISC processors than assembly programmers can get. The problem isn't abstraction, it's crappy software. For proof, look at the Win32 API. There's lots more code out there just like that, or worse; layers upon layers of cruft and garbage, which no one bothers to look at and improve unless major flaws show themselves. For a great example, look at Windows Update in WinXP, IIRC. It wasn't apparent when WinXP was brand-new, but 10+ years later everyone started noticing how dog-slow Windows Update was. (There was a Slashdot article about this a few months ago I believe.) The problem turned out to be that some moron programmer at MS used a horrible algorithm in the program, so as more and more updates were applied to the system, the runtime got exponentially worse. That isn't a case of abstraction layers, it's a case of lousy programming, and if it can go undetected that long in the world's most popular OS, there's no telling how much other crap code lurks, slowing our computers down.