New Logic Circuits Could Increase Efficiency by 1,000,000Category: Science & Technology
Posted: July 10, 2012 04:24PM
As electronics grow smaller to keep up with Moore's law, more challenges arise including heat dissipation. Putting transistors closer and closer together makes it harder for them to dissipate the heat they produce without warming everything around them. Researchers at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have found a way around this though by designing a completely new logic circuit family.
Current logic circuits are produced using Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, but the new circuits instead use magnetoresistive bipolar spin-transistors. This technology can perform the same operations as CMOS circuits, but needs fewer components and less power. Overall the new design could result in computers about 1,000,000 times more efficient within a decade.
These new logic circuits are actually spintronic in nature, as they utilize the innate magnetic properties of an electron, instead of just their charge, as in regular electronics. Spintronics offer many other benefits over modern electronics than just power efficiency though, so hopefully we will see them brought to market sooner rather than later.