So let me have your thoughts about this!
A philosophical review on the possibility of more than binary computation.
A computer works by processing information, and swapping in in between its memory sub systems. Using the active memory banks and the swapping to the passive memories and then reintegrate that stored information to continue processing with a longer, or more complex, information chain. To my knowledge this is only done by binary information bits relaying on the on-off switching through electrical circuitry. That is to say, the basic information carrying unit is either positive or negative.
I do not claim to know anything of the new quantum computers and this should not be read as alluding to such a computation.
Instead I propose that we switch our binary system to something with more variables. Many might have a hard time conceiving such an idea. And I am in no position to speak about the practical building or physical challenges of the realization of the idea.
When I speak of for example octinary computation this is not to be understood as the subsystem of interpretation of the binary electric circuitry such as for example in the hexadecimal color determinations available for program languages. Rather it is the physical smallest unit I propose to increase.
Computer speed and informational complexity
When using a binary electricity smallest unit you increase the capacity of the computation by raising memory, i.e the length of the sequential binary units. Or by raising the frequency, how many on-off switches the electric circuitry can perform per time unit. You also have to have the transformation of the sequential information string from the computing part to its memory functions. This makes up how much information is manageable to be computed in a certain time interval, or rather in a length of information. Or what could be called the computational power.
In a line of information with binary units you get a starting point of 2, on or off, which then factors in the length of the strings of information. So a string of information with 1 unit have 2 possible values, and 2 would have 4 and so forth. If we then can use something that doesnít rest on the binary electrical system we could then have, in an octinary system, 8 values in 1 unit, 64 in 2 and so forth. The exponential value of this information handling I think is clearly visible. And should motivate further research.
How to go above physical binary units?
With my limited knowledge about the practical side of realizing these I ideas I see at least three ways to achieving this. One is using sound and resonating mediums. That is, the computational part would use the highest number of states that can be resonated from the computational part to the memory functions. If we assume you would use a scale of eight different pitches that would give us a basic computational unit of octinary rather than binary information processing. What would be needed to accomplish this would be something that can transmit the pitch, i.e vibrate, and a resonating medium to memorize the sequential information string. I canít see how this should be a big challenge since we easily can produce the different pitches by electrical stimulation of a medium that start to oscillate producing the pitch. And for the receptive medium it should be fairly easy to have some plasma crystals or similar medium to resonate and gain its structure, i.e the informational octinary bit.
Another would be to use light as a medium, and one could then use intersections of the light pulse to receive a determination in memory from the outputting source. This kind of system would use a medium which upon simulation refracts the light into the targeted informational states. As to how high of a number the smallest information unit would be here, I do not profess to speculate about. But it seems as it would be dependent upon how big a difference is needed in the light spectra to distinguish the separate informational bits into something that can be sequentially managed. In theory it would be possible to make get the number as high as needed.
Will it be faster?
The speed of computation is basically just a matter of how fast you can write and interpret strings of information. The computers of today are probably highly effective in operating the binary input medium for information processing. And whether a shift to higher than binary units for information processing would be faster off course depends on what the time intervals would be in-between for example the sound emitting pitches.
But also, it will depend on the software, or programming languages then used. And we would probably use different units depending on what kind of computations we are writing our programs for.
Now if this has any value I leave to those more informed about how computations work, since I only got a spark of intuition regarding the matter. And off-course wanted to share this in case it will benefit and further humankind.