The computer industry has been facing an existential problem for a number of years now: because of the physical and quantum limitations of silicon dioxide, the speed of a silicon-based computer processor can only pushed so far before it melts. To get around this, the industry has resorted to packing more processors into individual devices, hoping that the additional processing power will make up for the lack of an increase in speeds, but this method can also only be pushed so far. Researchers are working on new technologies in the hopes of replacing silicon altogether, with optical and quantum-based processors being developed. And conversely, at least one tech startup is using a very old technology in their bid to push beyond the silicon wall.
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