Michio Kaku: Tweaking Moore's Law and the Computers of the Post-Silicon Era | Big Think

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Tweaking Moore’s Law and the Computers of the Post-Silicon Era
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Dr. Michio Kaku says “if I were to put money on the table I would say that in the next ten years as Moore’s Law slows down, we will tweak it.”
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MICHIO KAKU:

Dr. Michio Kaku is the co-founder of string field theory, and is one of the most widely recognized scientists in the world today. He has written 4 New York Times Best Sellers, is the science correspondent for CBS This Morning and has hosted numerous science specials for BBC-TV, the Discovery/Science Channel. His radio show broadcasts to 100 radio stations every week. Dr. Kaku holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York (CUNY), where he has taught for over 25 years. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study as well as New York University (NYU).
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TRANSCRIPT:

Michio Kaku: Years ago, we physicists predicted the end of Moore’s Law that says a computer power doubles every 18 months. But we also, on the other hand, proposed a positive program. Perhaps molecular computers, quantum computers can takeover when silicon power is exhausted. But then the question is, what’s the timeframe? What is a realistic scenario for the next coming years?

Well, first of all, in about ten years or so, we will see the collapse of Moore’s Law. In fact, already, already we see a slowing down of Moore’s Law. Computer power simply cannot maintain its rapid exponential rise using standard silicon technology. Intel Corporation has admitted this. In fact, Intel Corporation is now going to three-dimensional chips, chips that compute not just flatly in two dimensions but in the third dimension. But there are problems with that. The two basic problems are heat and leakage. That’s the reason why the age of silicon will eventually come to a close. No one knows when, but as I mentioned we already now can see the slowing down of Moore’s Law, and in ten years it could flatten out completely. So what is the problem? The problem is that a Pentium chip today has a layer almost down to 20 atoms across, 20 atoms across. When that layer gets down to about 5 atoms across, it’s all over. You have two effects. Heat–the heat generated will be so intense that the chip will melt. You can literally fry an egg on top of the chip, and the chip itself begins to disintegrate And second of all, leakage–you don’t know where the electron is anymore. The quantum theory takes over. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says you don’t know where that electron is anymore, meaning it could be outside the wire, outside the Pentium chip, or inside the Pentium chip. So there is an ultimate limit set by the laws of thermal dynamics and set by the laws of quantum mechanics as to how much computing power you can do with silicon.

So, what’s beyond silicon? There have been a number of proposals: protein computers, DNA computers, optical computers, quantum computers, molecular computers. If I were to put money on the table I would say that in the next ten years as Moore’s Law slows down, we will tweak it. We will tweak it with three-dimensional chips, maybe optical chips, tweak it with known technology pushing the limits, squeezing what we can. Microsoft for example, a software company, wants to go to parallel processing. Instead of having one chip here, spread them out horizontally. Take a problem, cut it in many pieces and have it run simultaneously on many standard chips. That’s another possible solution. But hey, Moore’s Law is exponential. Sooner or later even three-dimensional chips, even parallel processing, will be exhausted and we’ll have to go to the post-silicon era.

So, what are the candidates? The first candidate is molecular computers; that is, molecular transistors. They already exist. We already have molecules that are in the shape of a valve. You turn the valve one way and the electricity stops through that molecule. You turn it the other way and electricity flows through that molecule just like a pipe and a valve because that’s what a transistor is, a switch, except this switch is molecular rather than a switch made out of piping. The problem is mass production and wiring them up. Molecules are very small…

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27 Comments
  1. Big Think says

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  2. Darknyte 86 says

    What's a realistic scenario? Have you ever seen Terminator or any other sci fi movies where technology has surpassed its creators?

  3. thereddog223 says

    we are already testing 3nm

  4. PH says

    Does anyone know if that has already come to pass?

  5. Mike Ivy says

    Come on graphene!

  6. Khalid Nezami says

    The question is why does electronics need more than 50 billion transistors in one integrated circuit? Except for scientific simulations I don't see any need for electrical engineers to stop working with the numbers we already have and go into bigger numbers and smaller transistors.

  7. ああ says

    どなたか日本語訳お願いします🙇

  8. Frank BoxBoy Oliver says

    this guy scares me

  9. sanch Sanchayan says

    Finally the barrage of phones will come to stasis.

  10. Robert Shackleferd says

    Optical computers are next

  11. Ti Kay says

    well i hope it smaller than water molecules, then i can do computing while swimming….

  12. Atheists Anonymous says

    Now a days you can play video games on a quantum computer.

  13. ayush sinha says

    Genius

  14. Wyatt G says

    6 years later and Moore's Law is already dead. He's right though, it's become a case of "Who has the most cores in one CPU"?

    But D-Wave is making groundbreaking work in quantum computing, melding it with classical computing, and optical CPUs and optical RAM is right around the corner.

    2018 is to Quantum Computing and Beyond
    as 1958 is to classical computing.

  15. SPTLGHT says

    It is here. AMD presented their 7 nm Vega Instinct MI60 and MI50 as well as 7 nm AMD Epyc processors. Experts say that 7nm is the last stable fabrication process. If Moore's law ends, the end is near

  16. Games Until Dawn says

    Crystal is the answer.

  17. Moe K says

    I don't think anything is going to replace the transistors anytime soon as i also think we have reached the end. With that said, how are computer companies going to boast about their products? How is Microsoft going to keep expanding Windows? What is going to happen to the stock market? How does it make sense that real time video game rendering of human faces approaches realism but doesn't reach it? So many questions are going to arise. But somehow we will adapt i guess.

  18. 磊赵 says

    The “black light” digital photon computer.
    Stronger crossing laser reduces the excited atom population, and stops the laser device working, then a non-gate is realized. The crossing laser is vividly called "black light".
    The electronic computer is reaching its speed limit, most of the quantum computers can only do simulation operation, most of photon computers are expensive and slow and also simulational. I invented a photon computer that is cheap faster and digital.

    1 A review to the laser principle
    When an atom of the laser crystal is irradiated by the light from the pump source, it absorbs a photon and is excited. When a photon passes by an atom, the atom emits a photon witch has the same attributes(direction frequency and phase) as the passer-by photon. The atom backs to the ground state,and the new photon has a different polarization direction, witch is random.

    2 The“black-light” non-gate

    The digital light circuit is binary. Assume that that light exists is 1,while that light non-exists is 0. To realize a non-gate, light existence must be changed to light non-existence, and also the inverse process. The phenomenon from light to no light, is vividly called “black-light”.

    At the beginning, the laser works in the left and right direction normally. To do a non operation, strong light iirradiates from up and down to the crystal; then the the laser works in the up and down direction. The reason is that: after the light from up irradiation, the count of the excited atoms in the laser crystal decreases, that leads to the stop of laser working in left and right direction. By the way the light from up must be strong enough.

  19. Schalk Dormehl says

    This hasn't aged well…

  20. RobynHarris says

    Just how long can Michio Kaku coast on past reputation alone?

  21. hotxhotguy says

    How about you increase the size of the chip? Who said chip has to stay so small?

  22. I think Germanium could make a comeback if used with Silicon. Silicon has advantages over germanium like, being cheaper, less overheating, and currant leakage. But germanium works 10 faster and more powerfully. Combining the two could make for much better computers.

  23. Dipesh Chaulagain says

    his prediction came true today…..HYPER-THREADING

  24. pooh lives matter says

    Nope you're wrong,graphene is the future

  25. All Dio Technica says

    Dude's voice sounds like O'Leary on NBC's Shark Tank

  26. Max Haibara says

    2018, we're in the era of GPU Computing 🙂

  27. Jave Lester Odvina says

    Optical CPU, Optical RAM, Optical Hard Drive, Optical Graphics Card are the best and potential technologies that might be within the next 20 years

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