A researcher and professor at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Electronics claims handheld supercomputers will be ready within 10-15 years.
"If things continue to go the way they have been in the past few decades, then it's 10 years," said Michael Zaiser, a professor and researcher at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Electronics. "The human brain is very good at working on microprocessor problems, so I think we are close -- 10 years, maybe 15."
Zaiser's research into nanowires should help move that timeline along.
For the last five years, he has been studying how tiny wires -- 1,000 times thinner than a human hair -- behave when manipulated. He explained that each such miniscule wire tends to behave differently when put under the same amount of pressure. Therefore, it has been impossible to line them up close to each other in tiny microprocessors in a production atmosphere.
Zaiser said he's now figured out how to make the wires behave uniformly. He separates the interior material of the wire into distinct groups so the wire can't react as a whole. That makes it much easier to control. "It's like crowd control," he added. "If they can all go one way, you have a big mess."
These nanowires will go inside microprocessors that could, in turn, go inside PCs, laptops, monile phones or even supercomputers. And the smaller the wires, the smaller the chip can be.