How is it possible to build a machine as complex as the microprocessor with a billion tiny components packed into a space the size of a postage stamp?
Every day we interact with dozens if not hundreds of computers, often without even realising it. This lecture reveals the state-of-the-art in computer interaction.
What is software, and how is it stored inside the computer? Why are some problems just too hard for any computer to solve, and how can we turn this to our advantage?
How does information make its way across the internet, through hundreds of computers to the right destination? How does a search engine find the web page you want amongst billions of possibilities in a fraction of a second?
Computers are extraordinary machines, able to perform feats of arithmetic that far exceed the capabilities of any human. So why is a 3 year old toddler better at recognising everyday objects than the world's most powerful supercomputer?
Episode 1 - Breaking The Speed Barrier
Inside every personal computer, mobile phone, and games console is one of the most complex pieces of engineering ever created - the microprocessor. How is it possible to build a machine as complex as the microprocessor with a billion tiny components packed into a space the size of a postage stamp? What are the challenges that are making it harder to continue the incredible improvement in speed, and what ideas are being explored to overcome them? Can we build new kinds of computers based on individual molecules? Can we store information using single electrons? Could we even build machines that do computation without consuming energy? To find out join Chris Bishop on a fascinating exploration of the extraordinary world of the silicon chip.