Understanding Thermodynamic Computing and its Future Impact

Understanding Thermodynamic Computing and its Future Impact
Published By - Kelsey Taylor

With Quantum Computing on the rise, there is a new term called Thermodynamic Computing. Most importantly, branches of physics have always inspired new technology and given rise to great innovations.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has compelled us to work remotely. As a result, we have been utilizing more resources and energy to cope up with the changes.

Similarly, the more technology advances there will be a drastic requirement to build resources to support it. Hence, we often see that technology needs a reliable energy source from nature, and nature becomes more sustainable with advanced technology.

Therefore, researchers have stated, “If we want to make computers function more efficiently then we should care about energy and its ability to efficiently create state changes — i.e. we should care about thermodynamics.”

Hence, this article helps you understand Thermodynamic Computing and its impact on our future.

Understanding Thermodynamic Computing and its Future Impact

What is Thermodynamic Computing?

Thermodynamics is a field of physics that studies heat, work, and temperature along with their relation to energy, radiation, and physical elements. Computing mostly refers to the use of computers to acquire an end result or goal.

Thermodynamic Computing refers to the computational model that is supported by the laws of Thermodynamics. Therefore, it is a developing understanding of using thermodynamics to utilize limited resources at their full potential.

It is different from Conventional and Quantum. It gives rise to the theory of limiting the use of hardware in technology by effectively utilizing the software.

As a result, creating a system that uses natural elements that could adapt to its physical environment. Therefore, just like nature, it manipulates self-organization and the laws of Thermodynamics.

The Thermodynamics of Computing

Firstly, computing and processing information requires great amounts of energy. Scientists have been trying to make energy-saving systems, but it affects efficiency.

Lastly, there is a cost incurred to execute computing using thermodynamics. In short, biological computation would play a major role.

Meanwhile, in 2017, Google located some of its data servers near a river. The water in the river reduces the heat generated in the servers and makes it more efficient. 

Recently, the Computing Community Consortium stated in their blog, “What if we designed computing systems to solve problems through a similar process? The writers “envision a thermodynamic computing system (TCS) as a combination of a conventional computing system and novel TC hardware. The conventional computer is a “host” through which users can access the TC and define a problem for the TC to solve. The TC, on the other hand, is an open thermodynamic system directly connected to real-world input potentials (for example, voltages), which drive the adaptation of its internal organization via the transport of charge through it to relieve those potentials.”

Hence, to resolve certain issues in Thermodynamic Computing here is a three-fold protocol for its evolution:

  • Modeling and Simulating Classical Computing

Effectively using classical computing to model and simulate Thermodynamic Computing characteristics. As a result, enhancing the efficiency of Classical computers and giving rise to using it.

  • Approaching Hybrid Computers

Most importantly, developing a hybrid computer and systems. It uses classical and thermodynamically-augmented elements. 

  • Employing Complex Thermodynamics Networks

It is critical to creating systems that use complex thermodynamic networks. Hence, a classical computing system offers an interface and builds mesoscale assemblies.

As a result, the assemblies interact, self-organize components, and continuously evolve the structure. Most importantly, the system works regardless of the temperature or environment.

The Future Impacts and Importance of Thermodynamic Computing

Impact of Thermodynamic Computing in Science

  • Thermodynamic Computing would pave the way for machine learning computing concepts to be aligned with the approach. Hence, stochastic and reversible algorithms would help comprehend the behavior of many predictive models.
  • Meanwhile, increasing the use of physical devices and components for computation creates an agile system. Therefore making it easier for the systems to be ready to use for the world.
  • Moreover, it would deal with intractable computational issues. To clarify domains like biology, medicine, ecology, climate, social, etc have limited sources and reach. However, with Thermodynamic Computing complex problems are addressed using a broad approach.
  • Hence, it would pave the way for various fields like engineering, physics, biology, and social sciences to be united. Therefore, leading a system that would tackle multiple and diverse problems for optimum benefits.

Thermodynamic Computing Impacts Business

  • Thermodynamic Computing can offer various computational functions. Hence, it could exceed the expectations of efficiency.
  • As a result, it would manifest self-organization in a computing system. Hence reducing human interference and use of human-specified solutions.
  • Above all, it can determine the organization’s computational capacity. It can study the environment and utilize the resource around for further “intelligence”
  • Furthermore, it increases the reach for innovative computing technologies. As a result, businesses have the opportunity to build a capable and functionally agile system unique to the requirements and objectives.
  • Most importantly, it gives opportunities to use more available, efficient, and agile resources at much lower costs.
  • Certainly, it would help improve the outcomes of most businesses. For instance, medicine, agriculture, defense, security, etc.
  • As a result, it would also create possibilities for new and innovative businesses. Consequently, creating more impact on job opportunities.

Technological and Social Impacts of Thermodynamic Computing

  • Consequently, Thermodynamic Computing would have a great influence on the environment. For instance, it would reduce the consumption of energy in each unit of computational task.
  • It would certainly expand the efficiency of software development. Therefore it would delegate most of the functions of the organizational system into the Thermodynamic Computer.
  • Most importantly, it would improve the battery life of portable and edge-connected systems and devices.
  • Likewise, it will optimize the capabilities of small and low-cost computational systems. As a result, giving rise to devices that use perceptual capabilities similar to animal sensory systems.
  • In addition, decreasing the negative impact of technology on the environment. However, increasing the efficiency of the workforce.


According to Todd Hylton, Professor at University of California San Diego, executive director of its Contextual Robotics Institute and the lead author on a report on Thermodynamic Computing states, “The whole universe organizes itself but our technology does not. Thermodynamics drives organization in the real world. So it should drive technology too”

Thermodynamic Computing promises a great future for businesses and the environment. Hence, it is important to apply and practice Thermodynamics in the field of computing.

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