|TEXAS TECH RESEARCHERS RECEIVE PATENT FOR NEW COMPUTER LOGIC SWITCH|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 28, 2005
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons, firstname.lastname@example.org
LUBBOCK - Two Texas Tech investigators have received a patent for a new
concept for computer logic switches that could revolutionize computing
in the 21st century.
Dr. Kenneth Laine Ketner, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and director of
the Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism at Texas Tech, and Dr. Ralph
G. Beil, an institute member, have designed new methods and switches
that have been trademarked as Trisistors.
While most of today's computers operate on a binary system, the patent
describes a trinary system that includes binary capabilities, but which
also supports additional features allowing computers to work faster and
Trisistors and associated methods were inspired in part by the work of
an early 20th century physicist, chemist, and logician, Charles S.
Peirce. An internationally recognized scientist employed by the U.S.
government, Peirce was one of the earliest members of the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences.
Credited with early discoveries in computing and artificial
intelligence, he referred to his approach in general as Pragmaticism.
He developed the theory of signs, a proposal for understanding
communication, meaning, logic and intelligence.
"We have shown that Peirce's theory of signs can be applied directly to
elementary particle interactions," said Beil, the senior author of the
patent. "An aspect of our patent is that elementary particles such as
photons and electrons can be used as carriers and processors of
information. This is also proposed in previous designs; however, those
designs involve multiparticle or parallel states with two (binary)
values. Our designs involve single particles or sequential states with
possibly more than two values each."
Ketner said the technology can be implemented using current laboratory methods.
"The patent also includes a general procedure for designing future
devices," he said. "We refer to this as the PBK (Peirce-Beil-Ketner)
Method. We think this approach will facilitate development of
additional trinary devices."
Beil emphasized that the patent gives designs for, not the next
generation of computers, but the generation after that. Ketner proposes
that the PBK method may be useful in the further study and application
of artificial intelligence.
A Texas Limited Liability Company, ArisbeTools LLC, has been formed by
Texas Tech University, the inventors and supporters. It will hold the
patent and other associated intellectual property.
Dr. William Marcy, who holds an interdisciplinary doctorate in
engineering and computer science and is provost at Texas Tech
University, said the new patented technology will greatly expand the
tradeoffs between the quantity of data that can be computed and the
speed at which the computation can be made.
"The computing capability of a laptop today could be handled in a
device the size of a dime," he said, "and the laptop of the future
could have the computing capability of one of today's supercomputers."
Marcy said the research represents the modern-day equivalent to the
invention of transistors, which replaced vacuum tubes in electronic
devices in the 1960s. From transistors came the integrated circuit
technology that drives hundreds of electronic devices now in everyday
"I believe that Ketner and Beil have reached that same point in
understanding that will lead to a new revolution in electronics," Marcy
said. "Imagine where we were in 1960 and then extrapolate to where we
are today. That is the significance of this patent."
Beil and Ketner have recently published two articles in The
International Journal of Theoretical Physics which show how Peirce's
logic applies to the description of single particle quantum states.
Note: The U.S. Patent No. for the new switch is 6819474
CONTACT: Kenneth Laine Ketner, director of the Institute for Studies in
Pragmaticism, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3128, or e-mail