From thermodynamic and causality considerations a general upper bound on the rate at which information can be transferred in terms of the message energy is inferred. This bound is consistent with Shannon's bounds for a band-limited channel. It prescribes the minimum energy cost for information transferred over a given time interval. As an application, a fundamental upper bound of operations/sec on the speed of an ideal digital computer is established.
- Received 4 December 1980
- Published in the issue dated 9 March 1981
© 1981 The American Physical Society