The Speed Limit for Electronics Is 250,000 Times Faster Than Today’s Computers

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Unfortunately, even if computer systems and cellphones are becoming quicker, there are several limitations to how much speedier they can become – this is down to the qualities of the elements used, as well as the basic rules of quantum mechanics.

In accordance with research, regulated mechanisms using light & circuitry in components cannot operate at frequencies above 1 petahertz in speed. That equates to almost 1,000 trillion operations each second. Available commercially CPUs operate at a clock rate of around 4.5 gigahertz, which means that the maximum speed is more than 250,000 times quicker.

The uncertainty principle, one of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics, serves as the basis for this restriction. Some may be aware of the statement that the more accurately you identify the location of a particle, the least accurately you can estimate its momentum, as well as vice versa. This may be used to both energy and time as well. Because of this, shorter laser bursts are required for a quicker pace, which implies the power is not accurately determined.

And, of course, energy is essential. In order for electricity to pass, free electrons must be present, and the power delivered to the circuit has the ability to detach the electrons off the atoms. As a result, if there is any uncertainty in the energy you give, your equipment may not function as expected once a specific number of short-duration pulses have been exceeded.

Whilst petahertz is a beautiful round maximum, the team feels that technology will not be able to achieve anything close to it in the foreseeable future. Additional physical attributes associated with the individual elements, as well as the specific arrangement, should be investigated in order to determine the exact physical speed limit.

The study was published in Nature Communications.

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