News of the WeekINFORMATION THEORY

'Ultimate PC' Would Be a Hot Little Number

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1447-1448
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1447a

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Summary

A physicist has used the laws of thermodynamics, information, relativity, and quantum mechanics to figure out the ultimate physical limits on the speed of a computer. His calculations show that, in principle, a kilogram of matter in a liter-sized container could be an "ultimate laptop" more than a trillion trillion trillion times as powerful as today's fastest supercomputer--if it could be turned into a black hole.