From NIST: “NIST Invents Fundamental Component for ‘Spintronic’ Computing”

NIST

April 26, 2017
Media Contact
Ben Stein
benjamin.stein@nist.gov
(301) 975-2763

Technical Contact
Curt A. Richter
curt.richter@nist.gov
(301) 975-2082

NIST has been granted a patent for technology that may hasten the advent of a long-awaited new generation of high-performance, low-energy computers.

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Conventional microelectronic devices, for the most part, work by manipulating and storing electrical charges in semiconductor transistors and capacitors. Doing so requires a lot of energy and generates a lot of heat, especially as process engineers keep finding ways to pack more and smaller features into integrated circuits. Power consumption has become one of the principal obstacles to much higher performance.

One highly promising alternative approach, called “spintronics,” utilizes the quantum spin* of the electron to hold information in addition to the charge. The two different spin orientations (typically designated “up” and “down”) are analogous to positive and negative electrical charges in conventional electronics. Because changing an electron’s spin requires very little energy and can happen very fast, spintronics offers the possibility of significant energy reduction.

See the full article here.

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