Posted Jun 19, 2008 12:02 UTC (Thu) by emk
In reply to: Power usage?
Parent article: The Kernel Hacker's Bookshelf: Ultimate Physical Limits of Computation
Basically, if you're worried about power and heat, you want to know the fundamental limits of reversible computation. A reversible computation is, of course, a reversible machine, and therefore uses no energy (except for output bits). Richard Feynman actually wrote a nice essay on this problem. And as it turns out, you can still do an insane amount of computation per unit time, under the laws of physics.
Of course, it's probably impossible to actually construct a true reversible machine, although certain small-scale quantum phenomenon, such as superconductivity, come surprisingly close.
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