As computers become faster they must become smaller because of the finiteness of the speed of light. The history of computer technology has involved a sequence of changes from one type of physical realisation to another ‐ from gears to relays to valves to transistors to integrated circuits and so on. Quantum mechanics is already important in the design of microelectronic components. Soon it will be necessary to harness quantum mechanics rather than simply take it into account, and at that point it will be possible to give data processing devices new functionality.

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