Non-binary computing breakthrough

It looks like the binary system may get tossed soon.

US Patent Application 20030212724:"20030212724".PGNR.&OS=DN/20030212724&RS=DN/20030212724

"Through the grouping of registers to form memory groups, the memory elements may be programmed to store multidigit numbers. Instead of being limited to operations based on a binary or base 2 arithmetic system, the digital multistate characteristic of the phase change material permits the storage and processing of digits associated with any arithmetic base in the registers to achieve non-binary computational capability. Direct storage and processing of numbers in base 10, base 8, or base 16, for example, is possible with the instant invention. Bases of hundreds, thousands or even higher are also compatible with the instant invention. As a result, the instant invention provides an opportunity to achieve massively parallel computation. The parallel computation capability, higher storage densities and non-binary operation possible with multistate memory elements through the instant computing methods provide an opportunity to vastly improve the speed and efficiency of computation relative to conventional computing machines."

Also see US Patent 6,141,241 for the same technique used for encryption:,141,241.WKU.&OS=PN/6,141,241&RS=PN/6,141,241

Of interest is that this technology is based on OUM (aka phase change) memory. See the link below for more info on OUM:

So it looks like OUM and this underlying nonbinary technology is pretty close. My question is, what the heck are we going to see when CPUs can add, subtract, multiply and divide in base ten (or some other useful base)?

This is revolutionary, no?
14 answers Last reply
More about binary computing breakthrough
  1. That's a real leap. I don't think we're anywhere close to a practical application.
  2. maybe u are right but i heard that computers work in a binary way due to the fact that the transistor has an ON and an OFF state. all the electronic components (microprocessors chipsets bla bla) are fabricated using transistors (mosfets in this case) the logical circuitry is made of transistors and all the logic functions are made using these two states. thats why computers dont use numbers of the base 10 8 and 16. suppose that there is some way of manipulating the calculations in one of these bases or even the ones u have mentioned (10000 1000) the basic component will be the transistor....right!! which has only two states so the binary states are still there. and one thing more, numbers with base greater than 10 are hard to interpret so it might be difficult to make such thing to happen.
    if im wrong do tell me

  3. >the basic component will be the transistor....

    Actually, the basic component will be a phase change memory cell that is capable of holding a nonbinary number. The actual process used to put the number in the cell is digital (i.e. - 8 pulses to store the number 8). It is sort of like having an abacus so add, subtract, multiply and divide operations are performed similarly. See the following link for more info as it relates to the abacus:
  4. this idea looks great but can u give some ground facts on the phase change memory cell. how does it look like. how is it fabricated. how are the pulses stored. what are the design tradeoffs. a working prototype. something like that.
    im not annoying u. i like the idea but i want more details.

  5. Here is a presentation from Intel regarding the phase change memory technology (they are currently developing it to replace flash memory):
  6. looks great to me. i would love to study electronics using the usual base 10 number system rather than the ones and zeros. but this is still in the development phases.
    hey and intel is currently working on 6 new technologies for memory i.e MRAM, FERAM, OUM, ETOX, NROM, POLYMER. wow thats a lot of work for the engineers at Intel. above all this im waiting for any breakthroughs in quantum computing because i think it has the potential to replace the conventional stuff filled in those microprocessors. i wonder where will technology go in a few years.

  7. Timeline Circa 1980 - 1986 Tandy Computer Company Motorola 6309.

    A cpu is basically a calculator and it performs those tasks as fast as the bit registries can be loaded understood then reloaded.
    One of the first CPU's only had an 8 bit registry meaning it could only handle I/O with 8 bits at a time.
    It used what was called the Motorola 6309 microprocessor.

    As this CPU was used in many formats such as ADOS, ADOS-3 and Extended ADOS-3!) Also QDOS and the OS9 Operating system.
    One of the most important functions ever used for this CPU was when it was installed into a little computer called a Colour Computer 3 affectionately known as the CoCo3 this computer was manufactured by Tandy Corporation and sold through Radio Shack. It was also my first computer system and I still have it boxed away in my basement, I even have the 12 inch RGB colour monitor and 2 Half Hight 5 1/4 Floppy disc drives. Switching Controllers and I upgraded the system with the 512K daughter board expansion, the computer was as many of the old guys now a whopping 128 K computer LOL.

    None of these operating systems work in a Windows environment but you could understand how the processes of bit registers functions using one of these computers.

    In fact a CPU derives its final answer simply by subtraction, the cpu subtracts values to arrive at a positive value.

    I just did a CoCo search online and they still seem to use these little systems around the world. My god the internet was nothing more then a 12 Baud rate when the CoCo was around. It has no hard drive and uses floppy drives for storage.

    The cpu in it was so reliable that I had a friend that used to calculate parameters for the altitudes above drop zones for parachuting. This information was needed for setting the fail safe mechanism that pulls the reserve parachute if a jumper freezes or is unconscious.

    Barton 3200+ 400MHz
    A7N8X Deluxe
    2x512 KinstonHyperX PC3200
    GeForce FX5900
    Maxtor DiamondMaxPlus9@80Gig
    SONY CD 52x
    SONY RW 52x/24x/52x
    SONY DVD 16x/40x
  8. >In fact a CPU derives its final answer simply by subtraction, the cpu subtracts values to arrive at a positive value.

    SoDNighthawk i dont challenge your knowledge but ive heard the opposite of what u have said. ive read in books that computers only add numbers. to subtract a number the number to be subtracted is complemented and then added to the first. tell me what is right.

  9. Challenge his knowledge all you want, he hasn't posted a truthful post yet.

    I'm pretty sure you're right, I just forget exactly how it works...oh well, I don't really care, there's nothing that will utilize it in the foreseeable future anyway...

    Damn Rambus.
  10. ill tell u how it works

    if u want to add 1 and 2 together the computer adds them and the result is 3. if u want to subtract 1 from 2 the computer complements the 1

    there are two types of complements in the decimal system (base 10). the 9's complement and the 10's complement. ill tell u about the 9's complement.
    consider the same example of subtracting 1 from 2 in the base 10. first we get the 9's complement of 1. the process is as follows

    9's complement of 1 = 9 - 1 = 8

    now add this to the 2


    the result is 10 not ten. i repeat the result is one-zero not ten (although we are used to calling it ten). now the actual result is to add the 1 to the zero. you see when we add 8 and 2 the result is 0 and 1 remainder. add the remainder i.e. 1 to the zero and there is your answer i.e 0+1=1

    10's complement is different but ill not talk about that.

    so in effect we only need to add different valuse to perform the calculations of addition and subtraction. in binary numbers complimentation is very easy; just invert all the bits. so the complement of 110101 is 001010. simple as that.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by samcheetah on 12/17/03 10:24 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  11. Quote:
    SoDNighthawk i dont challenge your knowledge but ive heard the opposite of what u have said.

    DO challenge his 'knowledge'. Most of what he says is in fact completely opposite from what you've heard or what you know. I'd do a search on Google before I trusted anything SoD said at face value.

    <font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
  12. Wow, that's really cool...I won't ask about the complement of 10, I'll probably never use this knowledge effectively anyway.

    Damn Rambus.
  13. Maybe we should consider SoD's knowledge the complement of the truth...staying in the theme of this thread and all.

    Damn Rambus.
  14. the 10's complement is simple and i should tell u how it works

    the 9's complement of 1 is 8 right. now add 1 to 8 and there u have it 1+8=9 which is the 10's complement of 1. now add this to the 2 we had and u get 11 (thats one-one not eleven). so the result is 1 with 1 carry. in the 9's complement we added the carry to the result but in 10's complement we discard the carry. so the answer is 1 with 1 being discarded.

    the choice of 9's or 10's complement is based on the computer system you are using. some systems will use 9's complement and some use 10's complement. but the answer of 2-1 is always 1

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