Binary is the result of using the simplest possible building blocks to hold memory, transistors, entities that can be switched between two states, on or off. We took that idea and ran with it, and it works very well, but I was wondering:

What if we replaced transistors with entities that could transition between more than two states. A memory building block of > 2 possible states which was simple, small, fast, cheap, etc. Would there be an advantage, such as multiplying storage per unit exponentially? Are there any failed attempts at this which could be cited?

  • $\begingroup$ Has been asked several times before. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus Jan 3 '16 at 22:47

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