magnetic computers

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    A long way to go yet, but some interesting developments that could mean big changes to computers if the results pan out, hurdles overcome and the idea takes off.
    ScienceDaily (July 5, 2011) - Future computers may rely on magnetic microprocessors that consume the least amount of energy allowed by the laws of physics, according to an analysis by University of California, Berkeley, electrical engineers.

    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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