Can computing continue to improve

Can computing continue to improve?

Lucas Anderson

What is Moore's law?

  • "Over the past half century, the amount of information that computers are capable of processing and the rate at which they process it has doubled every two years, a phenomenon known as Moore’s law" (Lloyd 1).
  • “Steady improvements in computer hardware have been supported by periodic doubling of transistor densities in integrated circuits over the past fifty years” (Markov).
  • What's the issue?

    • "Such Moore scaling now requires ever-increasing efforts, stimulating research in alternative hardware and stirring controversy" (Markov).
    • "At some point, Moore’s law must break down" (Lloyd 1).
    • "Intel has suggested silicon transistors can only keep shrinking for another five years" (Simonite).

    Theoretical Limits

    • "First, most of the energy is locked up in the mass of the particles of which the computer is constructed, leaving only an infinitesimal fraction for performing logic" (Lloyd).
    • "Second, a conventional computer employs many degrees of freedom (billions and billions of electrons) for registering a single bit" (Lloyd).
    • "conventional designs rely on redundancy for reliability and manufacturability" (Lloyd).


    • ​“using channel materials with an anisotropic effective mass, the channel can be scaled down to 1 nm and still provide an excellent switching performance in phosphorene nanoribbon MOSFETs" (Ilatikhameneh).
    • Aside from classical computing quantum computing also appears to be promising

    What about quantum computing?

    • A processor called Sycamore took 200 seconds to complete a task that would take a supercomputer an estimated 10,00 years (Arute)
    • Quantum computing aims to solve some problems exponentially faster than a classical computer (Arute)
    • "Redundancy is not required by the laws of physics: recently constructed quantum microcomputers use one quantum degree of freedom for each bit and operate at the Heisenberg limit ... for the time needed to flip a bit" (Lloyd).
    • "prototype quantum computers that store and process information on individual atoms have already been demonstrated" (Lloyd).

    Works Cited

    Arute, Frank, et al. “Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor.” 2019, doi:
    Ilatikhameneh, Hesameddin, et al. “Saving Moore’s Law Down To 1 Nm Channels With Anisotropic Effective Mass.” Scientific Reports, vol. 6, no. 1, 2016, doi:10.1038/srep31501.
    Lloyd, Seth. “Ultimate Physical Limits to Computation.” Nature, vol. 406, no. 6799, 2000, pp. 1047–1054., doi:10.1038/35023282.

    Works Cited Cont'd

    Markov, Igor L. “Limits on Fundamental Limits to Computation.” Nature, vol. 512, no. 7513, 2014, pp. 147–154., doi:10.1038/nature13570.
    Simonite, Tom. “Moore's Law Is Dead. Now What?” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 2 Apr. 2020,