Physicists calculated that Moore's Law will hit nature's limit within 75 to 80 years, if chip makers can continue to roughly double the numbers of transistors on a chip every two years.
"If we believe in Moore's Law ... then it would take about 75 to 80 years to achieve this quantum limit," Levitin said.
"No system can overcome that limit. It doesn't depend on the physical nature of the system or how it's implemented, what algorithm you use for computation … any choice of hardware and software," Levitin said. "This bound poses an absolute law of nature, just like the speed of light."
Scott Aaronson, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, thought Levitin's estimate of 75 years extremely optimistic.
Moore's Law, he said, probably won't hold for more than 20 years.