(WSJ) The market for new computing technology comes as advancements in traditional chip making are hitting a physical limit under Moore’s Law, the idea that every two years or so, the number of transistors in a chip doubles.
Quantum computing is the best-known of the new computing technologies. Startups as well as tech giants including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and International Business Machines Corp. are developing quantum computers, which harness the properties of quantum physics to sort through a vast number of possibilities in nearly real time. The advent of quantum computing has paved the way for other experimental techniques, startup executives say.
“If you don’t come up with more exotic ways of computing, computing itself [won’t] progress like it has for the last 50 years,” said David Moehring, formerly chief executive of quantum-computing startup IonQ Inc.
The rise in alternative computing methods is partly driven by companies’ growing demand for powering processes such as artificial intelligence. Current AI models running on traditional chips require massive computing power from data centers.
Some startups are making chips focused on specific software tasks. Others are pushing further, finding processing and storage solutions in new materials, including synthetic DNA.