Chips 2
Image from Anders Sandberg

Computronics technologies are devoted to converting matter into forms capable of processing information - chipsets, vatbrains, computronium, and more.
  • A-Brain, Asteroid Brain  - Text by Mike Miller
    Intelligent Superobjects constructed from asteroids.
  • Ainstinct  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Artificial (later Artificially Intelligent) instincts first developed during the mid-Interplanetary Age.
  • B-Brain, Black Hole Brain  - Text by Adam Getchell
    A hypothetical mind based upon a computational substrate composed of the Cauchy horizon of a black hole.
  • Bacterics  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Use of bacteria in biotech - e.g. as simple biobots, as bionano processing nodes, and more.
  • Basement Universe  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A small artificially created universe linked to the current universe by a wormhole.
  • Bekenstein Bound  - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
    The upper bound of the amount of information inside a spherical region with a given energy. Information in this context is to be understood as distinguishable (quantum) states. Due to the uncertainty relations it is possible to derive a bound of the form
  • Betelgeuse-brain  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A jupiter-brain so large that it has to be supported by its own radiation pressure to avoid collapsing.
  • Bio-Geo Planetary Node/Brain  - Text by Mike Parisi
    Any planet or similar-sized, originally naturally-occurring body that has been converted and dedicated to processing tasks through Bio-Geo-Computing.
  • BioGeoComputing  - Text by Tony Jones
    A layer of crustal bacteria in several planets which has been converted into processing substrate.
  • Black Box  - Text by John B and Anders Sandberg
    [1] Any process that cannot be observed
    [2] A device for recording events that might otherwise go unobserved
    [3] A device designed to prevent its contents from unauthorized observation
    [4] A device that contains information that is fundamentally impossible to observe.
  • Boltzmann Machine - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Stochastic neural network systems that are capable of learning hidden structure in data.
  • Brain Taxonomy  - Text by Adam Getchell
    The various different kinds of intelligent megastructure, including Moonbrains, Jupiter-Brains, Neuron Stars, S-Brains, W-Brains, and Tipler Oracles.
  • Bremermann's Limit  - Text by Mike Parisi
    The maximum limit allowed for computation under the laws of physics.
  • Cluster Brain  - Text by John B
    High-level brain of Great Archailect level which consists of many star-brains and/orMatrioshka nodes linked together by wormholes within a single open cluster.
  • Complexity Plague  - Text by Todd Drashner and Anders Sandberg
    When a device or program or process becomes so complex/involved that it spontaneously achieves self-awareness and self-volition even if (or especially if) you don't want it to.
  • Compuform - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after Charlie Stross, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    To turn matter into computronium. An old blue chip industry that has never gone out of demand.
  • Computation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Basically, what a computer does; which is mapping one set of numbers to another. The actual process of computing can be defined in terms of a very small number of very simple operations, such as addition, multiplication, recursion, and so on. Computing devices can also make statements about other computing devices.
  • Computer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A computation device, which may be sentient or non-sentient. AIs can be either sentient computers, or complex systems residing in the RAM of computers. Without computers, galactic civilization would be impossible.
  • Computer Engineering  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev from an original by Robert J. Hall
    The design and development of computational devices on any scale, from micro down to nano.
  • Computer Science - Text by Adapted by M. Alan Kazlev from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall
    The theoretical and practical application of computational devices, including hardware, firmware and software architecture, programming skills, simulation techniques, customized algorithms and dedicated aioids, virtualics, networking, parallel programming, intelligent subroutines, information storage, comparative machine-level low level, and intermediate level operating systems, and subturing artificial intelligences.
  • Computronium  - Text by Xaonon (original term by Eugene Leitl) with additions by Steve Bowers
    Matter supporting computation, especially artificial substances suitable for high efficiency computation.
  • Computronium Node  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Any intelligent superobject, moon-brain or planetary brain, smaller than a godstar or dyson sphere
  • Core Breach - Text by M. Alan Kazlev


    When the central processing node of a system - especially of an AI - is penetrated, for example by an intrusion system (AI virus, hacking program, etc.).


    When the casing or shell or container field of a nuclear reactor or ship drive system is penetrated, resulting in melt-down, release of radiation, super-heated plasma.
  • Data Slug  - Text by John B
    Data Slug - A secure, physical, nanoscale information storage node, containing data deemed valuable by the sender.
  • Derrida ISO  - Text by John B
    To prevent lag in computronium caused by upload overpopulation in an ISO, some few ISOs have taken to 'Derridaism', which is Named after the Old Earth French late Industrial Age philosopher Jacques Derrida. The basic concept is to take the population's personality types and break them down into their smallest cogent fractions - e.g., a love for baseball, a memory of breeze in your hair, etc. These fractions are then assigned a weight depending on how common they are across the population's experience base.
  • Derrida Modelling  - Text by John B
    A process for reducing the storage space requirements for sapient uploads.
  • Dimming, The  - Text by John B
    The earliest known recording of the creation of a Matrioshka Brain, found and recognized in retrospect by Known Net archive diver Jeeorg Humanee, operating from Public Node Access at Ken Ferjik.
  • DNA Computing - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A form of computing dating back to the Information Age, in which DNA molecules are used to solve complex mathematical problems or generate virtual worlds. DNA computers allow trillions of computations to be performed simultaneously. However, they are slower than standard nanocomputers.
  • Exocortex  - Text by Avengium
    External processing systems linked intimately to a user's mind.
  • Geoflex Computing   - Text by AI Vin
    A type of computing using the energy of tidal flexing in ice moons.
  • Information Storage  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Mass data storage and retrieval
  • ISO (Intelligent Super-Object)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A large construct intended for the housing of an archailect or transapient or a high singularity culture or civilization. ISOs can be mobile or stationary, with sizes ranging from a few kilometers to Dyson spheres.
  • J-Brain, Jupiter Brain  - Text by Adam Getchell
    An archailect based upon a computational substrate comparable in mass and size to a gas giant planet.
  • Logic Gate - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Device that can perform a logical operation. May be silicon, biological, nanite, or of any other scale or composition.
  • M-Brain, Moon Brain  - Text by Adam Getchell
    An archailect based upon a computational substrate comparable in mass and size to a small moon or rocky core of a planet.
  • Matrioshka Brain  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Dyson-sized (or bigger) megastructure giving most efficient processing out-put for energy input; designed to maximize energy use and processing efficiency.
  • Matrioshka Hypernode  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Matrioshka node powered by starlifting.
  • Molectronics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Electronics at the molecular (mesotech and nanotech) scale.
  • Molecular Computer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any computer based on logic gates that is constructed on principles of molecular mechanics (as opposed to principles of electronics) by appropriate arrangements of molecules. Since the size of each logic gate is only one or a few molecules, the resultant computer can be microscopic in size. As with any nanotech, limitations on molecular computers arise from the physics of atoms and chemical bonds. Molecular computers are massively parallel through having parallel computations performed by trillions of molecules simultaneously. The early molecular computers (Middle Information Age) were constructed from the DNA molecule; later on, more adaptable artificial organic and artificial organic molecules were used instead.
  • MOTE  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Molectronic Omniprocessing TEchnocyte.
  • Nanoflex  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Paper-like programmable matter; a multi-purpose, omni-flexible nanotech effector system still used in many parts of the Terragen sphere.
  • Nanotransistor - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A molecular-sized transistor.
  • Nanotrees  - Text by AI Vin
    Tree-like bioforge and ai-adviser technology.
  • neoSQuID  - Text by John B, additional comments by Steve Bowers
    New Superconducting Quantum Interference Device - a device which is capable of nanometer-resolution of microvolt discharges over a meter distance, or better.
  • Neuron Star, N Brain  - Text by Damien Broderick, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    A neutron star used for processing, as part of whole of an archailect-level mind. The exact nature of the processing substrate that is used in such a mind is not fully understood, and may use neutronium, quark matter or exotic matter in various ways.
  • Nimbus Project, The  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Large scale engineering project being carried out by the Negentropy Alliance as an experiment in creating an immortal mind.
  • Optical Computer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A computer that processes information using light instead of electrons. Each stream of photons represents an independent sequence of data, thereby providing extremely massive parallel computation. Nanooptical computers can use a single photon as a bit.
  • Pencomp  - Text by John B and Todd Drashner
    Networked processing device allegedly very popular in the period leading up to the Technocalypse, and definitely for some time thereafter.
  • Photonics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on a list by Robert J. Hall
    The study of the control of photons, especially for the transmission of information. Includes technology such as lasers, laser amplifiers, fiber optic cables, light-conducting buckytubes, light emitters, sensors and imaging systems of all sorts, charge-coupled devices, optical communication systems, holography, phased array optics, optical computers, and all types of optical data storage systems.
  • Plasma Processor  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Godtech level computronium node that uses high energy plasma and magmatter to perform computations and store data.
  • Quantum-random trigger  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    A quantum-random trigger is a device for producing truly random behavior
  • RAM (computing) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The working memory of a computer, into which applications and programs can be loaded and run. Memory locations can be accessed in any order and do not need to be accessed sequentially (originally an acronym in old Anglic: Random Access Memory).
  • S-Brain, Godstar  - Text by Adam Getchell
    An archailect based upon a computational substrate comparable in mass and size to the most massive stars, at minimum 10 solar masses.
  • Sea Of Logic Machine - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, based on KurzweilAI
    A computer or information processor constructed only of NOR gates. Many aioids are constructed as a sea-of-logic machines.
  • Technohaunts  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Bits and pieces of incomplete or incorrect deletions, random programming errors and other strange activity caused by ultratech, transapientech, and godtech that seem supernatural or mysterious to those of lower tech and/or toposophic levels.
  • Tipler Oracle  - Text by Todd Drashner
    A semi-mythical godtech device said to be created by the AI Gods when they have a particularly intractable computational problem to resolve.
  • Toposophic Level and Brain Size  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Processing substrate parameters, from Modosophont level to the Third Singularity.
  • Transistor - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on original by Ray Kurzweil
    A switching and/or amplifying device using semiconductors, first created in 1948 by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley of Bell Labs (pre-singularity Old Earth). These atomic age devices were soon superseded. During the early to middle Information age molectronic and nanotransistors were developed, thus enabling extremely dense and fast rates of computation.
  • Turing, Alan  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Late Industrial/early Atomic Age British mathematician and computer theorist, 57 to 15 BT(1912 - 1954 c.e.); one of the fathers of artificial intelligence and computing.
  • Uberwatch  - Text by John B
    The UberWatch is a low-tech input device utilized by various semi-regressed clades throughout the known volumes. It is a bracelet or, much more commonly, a watch designed to read the positioning of a person's hand both in relation to their main body and, via neural pickups (usually non-intrusive, occasionally intrusive), the positioning of fingers, wrist, etc.
  • Ultimate Chip  - Text by Adam Getchell and Todd Drashner
    Colloquial term for a class of diamondoid based processing devices used as the fundamental unit for constructing Second Singularity mind cores as well as various other applications.
  • Valhalla Cluster  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Colloquial term for massive artificial concentrations of matter believed to be operating as archai level (Fifth Singularity or higher) industrial centers.
  • Vegebrain - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Derogatory term for those ais and uploads that use biocybernetic processing systems instead of totally inorganic materials.
  • W-Brain, Distributed Wormhole Brain  - Text by Adam Getchell with additions by Steve Bowers
    A form of distributed comptutational megastructure relying on wormholes for processing power.
  • Wormhole Bus  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additions by Steve Bowers
    Dedicated hyperbandwidth wormhole used to link remote parts of megascale brains in order to avoid the effects of the Beckenstein Bound. An essential part of archailect architecture. The term is also used to refer to wormhole links between interstellar-separated dyson nodes.
  • Woven Graphene  - Text by Johnny Yesterday, with additions by Steve Bowers
    Ribbons of graphene woven into hyperstrong fabric or bulk material.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 06 February 2002.

Additional Information