37½ - Non-Silicon Computing #

Most computers today use integrated circuits which use silicon as a semiconductor. This, historically, was not the only option. In the past, there were some chips made with gallium arsenide (such as those in the Cray-3) though it shouldn’t be confused with gallium nitride (GaN) which are getting common use not for logic, but for power electronics. Of course, it’s not just Gallium. Germanium is also a semiconductor which used to be used for transistors and diodes, and there has been modern research into using a silicon–germanium alloy. Of course, research has found more interesting potential futures to keep our basic transistor style computers going, probably most notably Graphene and Carbon nanotubes.

Still, that’s if we want to keep things relatively same-y. We could go weird. First up:

Quantum Computing #

Optical Computing #

Nanomagnetic Logic #

Biological Computing #

Processing in memory, Analog logic, etc.

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