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# Why aren't we using Ternary-based computers instead of binary-based?

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posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 01:35 PM
I am currently disappointed about the way the current publicly available computer technology out there.

Think of the possibilities or how more efficient computer system would be if we'd actually use Ternary-based computers...and the hardware cost would drop drastically since they would used less amount of material...

what do you think?

Ternary is the base 3 numeral system. Ternary digits are known as trits (trinary digit), analogous to bit. This system is also known as trinary.

Although ternary most often refers to a system in which the three numerals, 0, 1 and 2, are all positive integers, the adjective also lends its name to the balanced ternary system, useful for comparison logic...
en.wikipedia.org...

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 01:48 PM
Well at the fundemental level there is no switch of efficent nature that can hold information in the one of three states required to identify that information.

There have been ternary computers developed, see www.computer-museum.ru...

www.americanscientist.org... also has some useful information, and a little puzzle for the numerologists amongst us.

Perhaps the quantum computing equivalent of the Trit, the Qutrit will come to fruition? en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 3-7-2005 by Strodyn]

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 02:11 PM

Well at the fundemental level there is no switch of efficent nature that can hold information in the one of three states required to identify that information.

There have been ternary computers developed, see www.computer-museum.ru...

But that was like long time ago. We're in 2005, there is got some improvement that was done.

Even though they were not fully developped for mass production, these people or some other group of people would have pick up this technology make it a reality...sometime after the 1970's...

[edit on 3-7-2005 by mwen]

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 02:51 PM
I would hazard an ignorant guess suggesting that little research has been done into gates that can distiguish between 3 states, therefore the 50 years of minimilising components would have to start again....very expensive.

Having a browse on this matter I could not even find an equivalent defined Boolean architecture.

[edit on 3-7-2005 by Strodyn]

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 05:00 PM
With circuit geometries shrinking everyday, it would be possible to kludge a ternary system together. You might could combine 2 switches together into a single unit for example. Both off are 0, right switch on for 1 and left switch on for 2.

The transistor density for a system like this would be smaller than today's using such a workaround, but you would clearly make that up in processing power. And there's probably no reason why the switch cluster couldn't be more dense itself and thus increasing its processing power.
Think of an abacus for instance where each row was a switch cluster. In the hands of a computer modelled on that type of architecture, computations would be extremely fast because then the computer could actually count instead of adding 1 and 0 all the time. It doesn't seem like it when you use a computer, but when you actually go through the drill on paper on how the computer has to add,subtract, multiply and divide, you begin to realize how much processing power you are losing just to add
2 + 2, and don't even try and think about how much you lose just to play today's games.

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 05:11 PM
mwen, look up what a transistor actually is in wikipedia, there you shall find ye answer.

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 05:17 PM
Ok, I feel I am qualified to answere this question. I finish my Computer Electronic Engineering Technology degree in November.

Ok. First off. There is no simpler way than 1's an0's for a microcomputer to operate. They are programmable through something called 'machine language'. This machine language is based on one of two possibilities. Off or on. 0 or 1. It is all in how the components work. Data regesters, shift registers and such are all dependant on a 1 or a 0. You would basically have to invent a whole new type of electrical component to handel a base 3 number system. Oh, and just in case you wernt aware of this. Base 2 is converted to hex before it is really used by your OS. Just the programmable microcomputers use binary.

So if you think a base 3 number would be fast, then check this out. We are basically already working with a base 16 number system once it is converted. And witht he advent of molecular transisters just months ago, the processing power of CPU's will only skyrocket. So basically, you would have to change the entire electronic infrastructure of the world and that really isnt going to happen when we are quite capable of using what we have as long as effeciency is still viable.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 12:52 AM

First off. There is no simpler way than 1's an0's for a microcomputer to operate.

Precisely. Even with an arrangement of transistors to produce a base 3 result, each of those transistors is still operating on base 2: 0 and 1. To control the switching of those individual transistors, a binary system is still required.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 01:59 PM

Originally posted by Kidfinger
So if you think a base 3 number would be fast, then check this out. We are basically already working with a base 16 number system once it is converted. And witht he advent of molecular transisters just months ago, the processing power of CPU's will only skyrocket. So basically, you would have to change the entire electronic infrastructure of the world and that really isnt going to happen when we are quite capable of using what we have as long as effeciency is still viable.

that's a freak of nature...human uses base 10...lol

seriously though, the logic that use for that was that if there 0's and 1's then there is got to be a way to represent -1's...unless there something call negative charge electric current...

Yeah we'll have to change the entire system altogether...

Kidfinger: Congrats on your major completion

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 03:01 PM
i think whats trying to be explained here...forgive me its been major yrs since electronics class. Binary is based on the 1's and 0's. Opens and closes. Positive and negative of electricity. Now the Gates Referred to (AND, NAND, OR, NOR, NOT, XOR im not making these up..lol) are activated by a combination of 2 of these(1's & 0's) coming in creating 1 of these coming out.

See Here Linky for a good diagram of them.

Example: Take the AND Gate. 2opens makes an open. an open and closed makes an open in either combination of incoming, but 2 closed makes a closed. Now each gate is different and picture them stacked by the millions tied into each other.

See Here Linky to see how that works in an intel processor, complete with gate diagrams.

Now forgive me if im wrong, correct me please kidfinger, the CPU of your pc is like the traffic cop of the millions of these on your cpu. "instructing them as to the bus to goto IE...pci bus, agp bus, ram controller, northbridge, southbridge so on and so forth. Hope this helps some.

Congrats on about to finish that Degree btw Kidfinger...U da Man

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 03:39 PM

Originally posted by mwen

seriously though, the logic that use for that was that if there 0's and 1's then there is got to be a way to represent -1's...unless there something call negative charge electric current...

Yeah we'll have to change the entire system altogether...

Kidfinger: Congrats on your major completion

Thanks for the congrats.

As far as neg numbers go. There currently is no way to get a microprocessor to understand this abstract thought. Instead, we use what is called 1's or 2's compliment. Its binary mathe that replaces a supposed neg number with a positive one that has been converted.

posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 08:57 PM
First of all, for an engineer saying that something is impossible it's forgetting about what an engineer is all about, "engineer" from the latin ingenium, check it out! Second of all, ternary computers are mostly based in a balanced ternary system, that is, -1, 0 and 1 as digits, not 0,1 and 2. Of course there's no such thing as negative current or whatever (though the actual current is in general made of moving electrons which have negative current), however, as convention, we could call "negative" current as the current going the other way, such as alternate current, or just measuring a battery with a multimeter with the ends swapped for each terminal (it all depends of what you call ground or reference). Discrete components and a lots of IC's couldn't care less if you're working binary or not, they work with whatever the voltage is and give you a result (which you could interpret as you wish). I agree that there's a lot of investigation to be done and probably we won't be seeing computers like these in a near future (I personally would love analogue computers instead). I believe computers the way they are right now may have a limit (maybe not); breaking paradigms is part of discovery and different ways of thinking should be always welcome.

posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 05:46 PM

With the current setup in computer systems, tri-nary, or three state computing is easily gained. Instead of charge or no charge 1,2, you could have positive, negative, or lack of either accomplishing three states. This could be done with existing tech with little changes other than programming. I often wondered how cool it would be to get a hard drive to run on color instead of charge. The hard drive is the easy part. I would think a hard drive could be set up to run at 100 states. Each state just a specific charge strength. That would be nice, but the memory chips are what limits that. (Unless the hard drive used many states then converted it to storable trinary or binary) How do you store 100 different states on a TTL transistor. You cant. I bet there are already 3 state computers in use by a few. We the public will keep our dinosaurs like we always do.

posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 05:49 PM

I just freaked myself out a bit, what if all the computers we use now are trinay, and we are told they are binary. I can see it now, THE THIRD BIT CONSPIRACY do you know where YOUR third bit is today?

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