In the world I'm building, set roughly 350 years in the future, the humans have colonized the Solar System and other systems beyond using a hyperlane network discovered at the edges of the Solar System.

However, the story revolved around a data courier for one of the governments on the home planet, Xanthos. Thus, I want to pay extra careful attention to the details about the courier's job. The ship he drives runs off of computers with graphene CPUs. Is this feasible, if say humans were mining significant amounts of methane off of Titan-like planets and then someone figured out a good way to induce the oxidative coupling of methane to produce ethylene. The ethylene would then be mixed with oxygen and then ignited to create graphene.

What I'm wondering is, is any of this realistic? If so, how would such a CPU work? What would its clock speeds be? How fast could it read and write data given a storage device of 10 petabytes connected via a PCIe-like cable with 8 data lanes?


A character in my story is the pilot of said data courier. Because in this world large amounts of data can’t be sent through the hyperlanes because the breach points can’t be opened for long, ships loaded with hundreds of petabytes of data travel between systems. This ship is loaded with 50 sets of six 20 petabyte, military grade SSDs that use a data interface system that I like to call reversible PCIe x8. The on-board computer is able to access and load any one of these drives in nanoseconds, and can remotely wipe all the drives with randomized bits in a few milliseconds.

How feasible is any of this with the timeline i presented? Would we even be using SSDs? Does the bus width have to be longer? Are all of my assumptions about the future of computing implausible? Am I underscoring it? Overscoring it?

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    $\begingroup$ The graphene would have to be etched if it is the same as current computers. Atomic deposition of precise elements into 2D and 3D graphs, with ion and atom beams, would be also probably for 350 years in the future. So if they can atomically control graphene into a semi organic chip using titans mostly organic elements that you stated, it would be a graphene chip where the graphene is used as the wires of the chip and some kind of phase change atoms are used for the switches, phase change like switching on-off. some graphene mazes that are the same as todays processors except at 500000ghz $\endgroup$ May 20 '19 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @com.prehensible I've never heard of these graphene mazes, and 500THz caught my eye. Do you have any links on what these are and how they work that I could peruse? $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    May 20 '19 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ Regular, ground-level radiation from sunlight has been known to toggle bits in thin, unshielded processors, causing data corruption. This is actually a major issue for NASA -- they "solve" the problem with lots of redundancy and CRCs. But Graphene is so thin that the problem will be exacerbated. If your graphene computer works on regular electric charges, the way today's computers do, you'll want redundancy and radiation shielding around the graphene -- like a thick lead box, coated with a good conductor for EMF shielding, and surrounded on the outside by a strong artificially generated EMF. $\endgroup$ May 20 '19 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ I'm an EE who used to design high speed ICs. Let me give you some insight. (a) In 1990 we completely failed to predict the abilities of Silicon in 2010. We actually thought it would be impossible. (b) Graphene isn't magic. In fact, there are better materials. But in the end, it has all the same problems that limit electron flow: capacitance, inductance, and resistance. Keep in mind, if two electrons pass one another in opposite directions in perfect conductors, you have a limitation based just on distance. (Conclusion) Any answer you get is a 100% useless guess. $\endgroup$ May 21 '19 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Hoyle'sghost my problem with these kinds of questions is that they're worded to ask for specific results from fiction, theories, or hypotheses. It's the wrong way to ask the question. Honestly, how can anybody know the future? On the other hand, if asked as a reality-check, i.e., "here's what I want to do, is this believable within the context of my world?" That would work great and it's not primarily opinion-based (POB) because reality-check answers require justification. $\endgroup$ May 21 '19 at 2:54