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Old 07-06-2011, 08:08 AM   #26
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cowmoo32's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: FL
Posts: 5,545
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I read about this last week but couldn't find it yesterday when I made the thread.

Researchers at LBL are working on magnetic memory that could replace processors. Nanomagnets are used to store and calculate information and given that altering one will have an effect on the adjacent magnets, they are incredibly efficient. They work at the upper limit of efficiency allowed by physics and use 1,000,000x less energy per operation than the processors we're using right now.
Today's silicon-based microprocessor chips rely on electric currents, or moving electrons, that generate a lot of waste heat. But microprocessors employing nanometer-sized bar magnets - like tiny refrigerator magnets - for memory, logic and switching operations theoretically would require no moving electrons.

Such chips would dissipate only 18 millielectron volts of energy per operation at room temperature, the minimum allowed by the second law of thermodynamics and called the Landauer limit. That's 1 million times less energy per operation than consumed by today's computers.
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