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Computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have launched an effort to develop whole new types of computers that will be used 10, 25 or even 50 years from now.

Researchers at Sandia are developing next-generation supercomputers, nano-based computing, quantum computing and brain-inspired computing. Sandia, in Albuquerque, N.M., is a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy and focuses its work on technology that supports national security.

"We think that by combining capabilities in microelectronics and computer architecture, Sandia can help initiate the jump to the next technology curve sooner and with less risk," said Rob Leland, head of Sandia's Computing Research Center.

Erik DeBenedictis, a research scientist at Sandia, said it's critical to focus on what might be the next generation of computers because traditional computers won't be able to keep up with Moore's Law much longer. (Moore's law was posited by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who predicted in 1965 that that the number of transistors on a chip would double about every two years and could be done inexpensively.

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