Electrical engineers have demonstrated a new kind of building block for digital integrated circuits. Their experiments show that future computer chips could be based on three-dimensional arrangements of nanometer-scale magnets instead of transistors. As CMOS, the main enabling technology of the semiconductor industry, approaches fundamental limits, researchers are exploring 'magnetic computing' as an alternative.
Researchers have created technology that could be the first step toward wearable computers with self-contained power sources or, more immediately, a smartphone that doesnâ€™t die after a few hours of heavy use.
Faster, smaller, greener computers, capable of processing information up to 1,000 times faster than currently available models, could be made possible by replacing silicon with materials that can switch back and forth between different electrical states.