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Thermodynamics of Computation: Far More Than Counting Bit Erasure

David Wolpert from the Santa Fe Institute gave this talk at the HPC User Forum. “The thermodynamic restrictions on all systems that perform computation provide major challenges to modern design of computers. As a result, the time is ripe to pursue a new field of science and engineering: a modern thermodynamics of computation. This would combine the resource/time tradeoffs of concern in conventional CS with the thermodynamic tradeoffs in computation that are now being revealed. In this way we should be able to develop the tools necessary both for analyzing thermodynamic costs in biological systems and for engineering next-generation computers.”