Since then, progress in science and technology has been incredible. Looking forward to the next 15 years, the development of science and technology will be even more incredible. In the past 15 years, the development of technology has been limited to the virtual world; by 2030, we will see the changes that technology has brought to the physical world.
1. New computer architecture
Gordon Moore proposed the famous Moore’s Law in 1965, predicting that the chip’s processing speed would double every 18 months. For 50 years, engineers have been continuously practicing this development law of the chip industry. But now, Moore’s Law is about to end, and people are still trying to extend the life cycle of the law through 3D stacking and FPGA chip technology, but its effect is limited. If the development rate of the chip industry is to continue fundamentally, we need to develop new computer architectures.
One of them is quantum computing, which uses the overlap and entanglement effects in quantum mechanics to develop computer chips with a million times the performance;
The second is the development of a neurological chip that mimics the human brain, which will run billions of times faster than existing computers.
It will take years for these two new computers to be commercialized, but there are already working prototypes. As early as a decade, we can see that these new architectures will completely change the computer industry.
The human genome was decoded for the first time in 2003, with associated costs exceeding $ 3 billion. By 2030, human genome sequencing technology will become more sophisticated and cost less than $ 100.
At present, we have applied genomics to medical fields such as cancer treatment, and to treat breast cancer and other diseases through the genetic makeup of patients. By 2030, genomics will be combined with immunotherapy to fight cancer by stimulating human autoimmunity, making cancer a curable disease.
In addition, genomic technology called CRISPR allows engineers to precisely group genes and synthesize various functional organisms in cell factories. For example, inserting the right genome in bacteria and microorganisms can even make it produce materials such as plastic.
Back in 1959, physicist Richard Feynman proposed the concept of nanotechnology-enabling material production at the atomic level-which at the time sounded no doubt science fiction. Now this has become a reality. Graphene and quantum dots have opened the door to new materials for human beings.
The application of nanotechnology in the future is endless. But the realization of new materials at the molecular level is still in its infancy. But by 2030, we will be able to download new designs of new physical materials in the same way as software downloads today.
In addition, according to Feynman’s vision, related technologies will also produce nano-scale drugs. Doctors will treat individual diseased cells with a device smaller than the width of human hair, making the medical effect more effective.
By 2030, nanorobots will be able to go directly into the blood to look for diseased cells, pathogens, or repair specific cells.
4. Energy storage technology
Over the past 40 years, energy storage technology has continued to advance.
In 1970, lithium-ion batteries came out, and the corresponding energy storage density and cost continued to rise. Look at your laptop. The battery even accounts for 90% of the weight and volume.
Since entering the era of smart phones, the revolution of mobile devices has pushed battery technology to a smaller size and lower cost. However, just like Moore’s Law in the chip industry, the current lithium-ion battery is approaching the theoretical limit of technology.
Researchers are working hard to find alternative technologies. Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory in the United States are working to create a new generation of battery technology that will have five times the capacity of existing lithium-ion batteries and cost only one-fifth of the existing.
Robotics is another rapidly evolving technology area. In the past, almost all robots were used in heavy industry, and they were often kept away from humans for safety. Now, whether on the battlefield or in the factory, robots are working side by side with humans.
By 2030, robots will play a greater role in everyday life. The new generation of robots will use nanomaterials, which are lighter and more rugged; equipped with powerful neurological chips and running advanced deep learning algorithms, they can interact with humans in a natural way.
The past 15 years have been largely defined by the development of digital technology. The next 15 years will be the deep integration of various technologies.
A more powerful computer architecture will create the conditions for humans to work at the genome and molecular level, and eventually develop intelligent machines. New energy sources and new energy storage technologies will make these technologies more usable, safe, and efficient.
In 2016, we have controlled the virtual world of information technology. By 2030, we will begin to take control of the physical world.