“Clarke’s Three Laws:
1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
– Physicist / Author Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) | From “Profiles of the Future” (1958 ~ 1962)
Well, it seems that “Terminator magic” may be just around the corner, folks, with other predictions of uploading human personalities, as well as whole human personae, in the next decade.
Transistor Successor Set to Bring on “The Machine” Age Soon
A successor to an essential part in today’s computers may arrive in just a few years
7-22-2014 | Wendy M. Grossman, Freelance Contributor
A replacement for the ordinary transistor may make it to market by the end of this decade, an event that will herald a radical redesign of traditional computer architectures. The memristor, the subject of much study over the last six years, could become the basic building block for an array of new devices—from the sensors and memory chips being built into the “Internet of Things” (connected, sensor-embedded devices) to the giant computers used for big data applications by scientists, engineers and Wall Street.
Today, and for the past 50 years, computers have worked by processing data in fast dynamic memory and pushing it down wires—input/output channels—to slower-speed permanent disk storage. Memristors may combine into a single device the best characteristics of both dynamic memory (the RAM in a desktop computer) and hard drives or flash memory chips, which retain data when the electricity goes off.
The original idea dates back to the late 1990s, when Senior HP Fellow Stan Williams set up Hewlett–Packard’s Information and Quantum Systems Laboratory to scope out the next two decades of computing. For 40 years the industry has relied on its ability to manufacture ever-shrinking, ever-cheaper transistors based on Moore’s Law (the observation made by Intel founder Gordon Moore in 1965 that the number of transistors that can fit on a chip doubles about every two years).
Williams’ team accordingly began by studying increasingly small transistors, which led them to consider what would happen when the devices shrink to the size of individual molecules, in which the movement of a single atom would affect performance. At that size, the researchers encountered an effect they didn’t understand until 2008, when one of the team read a paper written more than 35 years earlier by Leon Chua, a professor in electrical engineering and computer sciences at University of California, Berkeley.