Looking at a cellular phone from two decades ago and comparing it to a modern smartphone is astonishing. That tech has advanced so rapidly and so significantly, it is truly beyond belief. It seems as if a hundred years of advancements have somehow been managed in just two decades. This is fantastic of course, offering modern tech nerds a veritable buffet of new, fancy tech to salivate over.
But, could it be that, with such rapid advancement, we are nearing the upper limit of technological progression? The very notion seems crazy, given how enormous the leaps have been. But, could it be that there is a limit to how advanced our electronic gadgets can be?
The short answer to this question is yes, there is a limit and we will have reached it by the end of the next decade.
Smaller And Smaller Has a Limit
Gordon Moore, the CEO of Intel, made a prophetic observation in 1965. He later updated the observation in 1975, to more closely reflect what he observed about semiconductors. His observation was this; the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double every two years, until ultimately no space remained.
The observation became known as Moore’s Law, and it has generally held true, as gadgets have advanced in modern technology. As it stands, process nodes in microchips are around 5 nanometres in width. In 2001 they were 130 nanometres in width.
The fact that they have been more and more compacted has meant, ultimately, more compact electronic processors. For example; those found in modern smartphones. Regardless if you’re using your smartphone for GPS, or to find casino bonuses available to Canadians, it is all only possible due to this rapid increase in technology. Or to be more precise; compacting of technology.
But, what happens when the scale can no longer get any smaller?
The Future Inevitable Limit
The predicted limit is, as it stands, around 2024. It will be at this point that processing nodes will have shrunk to around 2 nanometres. At this stage the space utilised has reached the absolute limit, given that quantum instability starts to play a very serious, unavoidable role.
At scales this ridiculously small; an electron may start drifting from assigned nanoscale troughs, making the chip unworkable. Or to put it another way; the scale can simply not get any smaller. It is impossible.
What Will Happen?
So does this mean technology will reach a brick wall? No. Just because technology can no longer get any smaller, it doesn’t mean that the available advancements at that point will not be utilised in completely new and interesting ways.
Though, if you were ever hoping that a smartphone would one day be able to fit on the tip of your finger, as a grain of rice, sadly that will most likely never come to pass. At least not unless some incredible breakthrough occurs, which isn’t impossible.
But in terms of size and scale, we’ve more or less seen everything that the technology world has to offer. At least for the most part.