Steampunk Goes Nano

Danielle here at Long Now sent me this interesting BBC piece on how a group at the University of Wisconsin – Madison is looking at mechanical computing at the nano scale in order to avoid the thermal limits being approached in CMOS circuitry.

Remains of Babbage's difference engine (ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY)

They claim to be inspired by Babbage’s decimal computing tech. It makes me wonder if Danny Hillis’ binary mechanical adder would be useful at the nano scale.

” The blueprint for a tiny, ultra-robust mechanical computer has been outlined by US researchers. The energy-efficient nano computer is inspired by ideas about computing first put forward nearly 200 years ago. ” -Jonathan Fildes, BBC

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