Moore's law, the famous (partially self-fulfilling) prophecy that has defined the current technology revolution, turned 50 this spring, and, give or take a few tweaks, it's still holding up ok. However, we are now in sight of some serious physical limits to the further improvements possible with silicon technology. Thus, experts are asking what comes beyond silicon, and in my latest feature in Chemistry & Industry I have rounded up some of the answers, both speculative and real-world ones.
Chemistry & Industry No. 7, pp 42-45
This all reminds me of the 1990s, when we were also worrying about limits to chip technology, only then it was the wavelength of visible light that limited the optical techniques. Overcoming these limits enabled the boom in nanotechnology and all of today's communication tech. Exotic alternatives such as molecular computation, which I discussed in a chapter in this book:
were already explored back then, but remain in the realm of the less likely paths today.
In the same issue, there's also my review of the book
Low cost emergency water purification technologies by Ray and Jain.