reply to post by verschickter
I would disagree with the people hating on smart dust. It will exist.
and there are many other forms of computing besides using transistors.
What about DNA computers?
National Geographic: Computer made of DNA and Enzymes
February 24, 2003 Israeli scientists have devised a computer that can perform 330 trillion operations per second, more than 100,000 times the speed of
the fastest PC. The secret: It runs on DNA.
Biochemical "nanocomputers" already exist in nature; they are manifest in all living things. But they're largely uncontrollable by humans. We
cannot, for example, program a tree to calculate the digits of pi. The idea of using DNA to store and process information took off in 1994 when a
California scientist first used DNA in a test tube to solve a simple mathematical problem.
you guys seem to forget that each one of our living cells perform information storage and retrieval at an astonishingly small scale.
The human genome has around 3 billion base pairs, each of which stores two bits (to indicate one of four bases).
That's 6 billion bits, or about 3/4 of a gigabyte. now thats just one copy of human dna. there are organisms out there with much more DNA than us. so
lets do some very reserved estimates.
the average human cell is .2um-2um. so lets say 1um
the average grain of sand- 1-2mm
there are 1,000um in a mm
so a mm grain of sand/smart dust could feasibly contain 750Gb of data and the ability to store/retrieve/manipulate it based off the mechanics of
cells. now this is a very reserved estimate and I believe we will see much higher computational density than this as we wont be limited to using
organic chemistry to create smart dust. Also, these small computers wouldn't necessarily require all the same mechanism a cell does to survive, which
would mean more space for the computational medium. and the computational medium will eventually get much greater than this, exponentially beyond your
If your interested in reading this, I put up a thread about the limit of computation based off the known laws of physics
Basically, every object is constantly computing itself into existence at the atomic level.
To appreciate the feasibility of computing with almost no energy or heat, lets consider the computation that takes place in any ordinary rock.
Although it may appear that nothing much is going on inside a rock, the approximately 10^25 (ten trillion trillion) atoms in a kilogram of matter are
actualy extremely active. Despite its apparent solidarity, the atoms are all in motion, sharing electrons, changing particle spins, and generating
rapidly moving electromagnetic fields. all of this activity represents computation, though not MEANINGFULLY organized.
In terms of computation, and just considering the electromagnetic interactions of a 1 kilogram rock, there are atleast 10^15 changes in state per bit
per second, which represents about 10^42 (million trillion trillion trillion) calculations per second. YET THE ROCK REQUIRES NO ENERGY INPUT AND
GENERATES NO APPRECIABLE HEAT.
-The singularity is near
so from this we can infer that in a 1kg rock(or any regular matter), at the atomic level, each bit(electromagnetic interaction) can change its
state(binary computation) 10^15 times per second. that just ones bit. when we multiply it by all the atomic structures we can expect due to the
density of the object, in this case a 1kg rock, we would have the maximum computation density of 10^42 calculations per second. That is the rate at
which a typical 1kg rock computes itself into existence. If it is possible in nature and by the laws of physics, then there is no reason a
sufficiently advanced civilization cannot replicate or make this knowledge useful.
to put this to scale.
it is estimated that if we were to combine all the computing power of all the human brains on earth, we would only have about 10^19 calculations per
second in computing power. which is completely dwarfed by the 10^42 calculations per second 1kg of matter does constantly. a 1kg cold
computer/reversible computer would technically be able to calculate the entirety of all human thought for the last 10,000 years in 1/1000th of a