Optical and Quantum Computing must go 3-Dimensional to Succeed

Yesterday, I put up a Post on transitioning to 3-D communications. Today, New Year’s Day 2017, I thought I would expand on that concept to include computing.

First some background. Samuel Morse is famous for developing the Morse Code which is a series of audible signals sent over an electrified wire at the speed of light and over great distances. The communications were able to be processed (written down) by a man in loop, but they were still sound-based or analog communications. That was the telegraph which is the grandfather of our modern multi-gigabyte communicatons today.

The militaries of the world were still using a form of Morse Code in the 1960s and 70s, but it had evolved into something called automatic Morse because it had gotten too fast to be processed by a Human. We called these machines Teletype Consoles which used paper tapes to record the data (numbers and letters). It was then that we had the explosion of the Mainframe Computer spearheaded by IBM and, suddenly, we were using magnetics to store and process the bits and bytes of data (still numbers and letters). The difference from the Morse Code days was the speed or throughput of the communications; instead of being limited to several hundred bytes of data in a minute, we had advanced to several thousand bytes per second. This was a huge increase in “bandwidth.”

Bandwidth increased by leaps and bounds for the rest of the 20th Century. Today, we routinely use wireless communications, which are a throwback to High Frequency Morse Code, called WiFi which transmit at 2.4 and 5 Gigabytes (Billion Bytes) per second.

OK. What does that mean? Our technology has advanced to the point that we can process sequential packets of information (data-letters and numbers)in the billions of times per second. This is still like communicating with Morse Code, but, much, much faster; it is still analog communications based on the sine wave (cycles per second or Hertz.) The difference is that we have figured out how to pack more and more sine waves into a second. Because there are several billion sine waves per second, we can put more and more information across a wire or through the air.

The basic foundation of our communications and computing is still based on sending sound, or a sine wave. But wait, we have figured out how to “digitize” it by sending “ones and zeros” and that is the basis for our advances in computing. Yes, that was a revolutionary leap forward, but the foundational communications technology is still trying to fit more and more Hertz into a second and the law of diminishing returns has slowed us down.

It is time to put more into each second; much more. It is time to start transmitting and receiving data in 3-dimensions and to process and store them in 3-dimensions for seamless interaction between communications and computing. We have already started down this path with Solid State Drives, but are still processing and storing 2-dimensional data.

Optical computing and Quantum Computing both need to process and record 3-dimensional data before they can be realized.