I think the next generation of computing devices, optical computers, will step up to meet the demand. Quantum computers will provide a possible alternative, but they are not quite ready for production in the near future (my opinion). In Halal’s book, Technology’s Promise, he states that optical computers will operate 1,000 times faster than electric processing computers (p52, 2008). TechCast.org predicts that optical computers will have a moderate acceptance in society by 2018 with a 63% confidence interval from the experts of their organization.
Several forces drive this acceptance and deployment of optical computers in the future. First, developmental motivation compels research universities and corporations to create the first economical and feasible optical computer. The creation is already in progression as MIT researchers created a photonic chip and IBM discovered a method to emit light through nanotubes. Secondly, economical inspiration forces research institutions to discover more fiscally sound equipment to continue entrepreneur growth on a dime. Thirdly, the cultural aspect of desiring faster computing with more storage drives firms to find resources/equipment to supply the demand of the public. Combining these forces and the quest to innovate, the current society provides the perfect storm to not only create, but also widely accept the next generation of computers, the optical computer.
Halal, W. E. (2008). Technology’s Promise.p.86-88. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.