The new logic family, which takes advantage of the magnetic properties associated with electron spin, could result in a computer 1 million times more power-efficient than those on the market today. While that achievement is optimistic and could take a decade to realize, “We think this is potentially groundbreaking,” Friedman said.
Today we go slightly off subject but only ever so slightly. On July 5th in Holland at the International Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures, (NanoArch 2012,) scientists at Northwestern University, USA presented a paper that’s been causing a stir ever since. It’s become one of the hottest items in the computing world, promising the next big advance in computers. Best of all, the scientists posit that these new super powerful computers are probably only about a decade away.
If that really works out, these new super computers will turn an already hot graphite/graphene decade, into the fastest decade of technology advance in the history of mankind. 2030 will not be to 2020, as 2020 was to 2010, or 2010 was to 2000. While the million times better claim refers specifically to power efficiency, power efficiency determines heat, and heat is the limiting factor limiting today’s CMOS based integrated circuits, and with it the speed of computers. The new super computers will be to existing computers, what existing computers are to the abacus.
Power dissipation of emitter-coupled spin-transistor logic (ECSTL) is less than CMOS at high frequencies and [conventional emitter-coupled logic] ECL at all frequencies.
Toward Achieving One Million Times Increase in Computing Efficiency
ScienceDaily (July 10, 2012) — Modern-day computers are based on logic circuits using semiconductor transistors. To increase computing power, smaller transistors are required. Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors that can fit on an integrated circuit should double every two years due to scaling. But as transistors reach atomic dimensions, achieving this feat is becoming increasingly difficult.
Among the most significant challenges is heat dissipation from circuits created using today’s standard semiconductor technology, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS), which give off more heat as more transistors are added. This makes CMOS incapable of supporting the computers of the future.
Northwestern University researchers may have found a solution: an entirely new logic circuit family based on magnetic semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to logic circuits up to 1 million times more power-efficient than today’s.
Unlike traditional integrated circuits, which consist of a collection of miniature transistors operating on a single piece of semiconductor, the so-called “spin logic circuits” utilize the quantum physics phenomenon of spin, a fundamental property of the electron.
“What we’ve developed is a device that can be configured in a logic circuit that is capable of performing all the necessary Boolean logic and can be cascaded to develop sophisticated function units,” said Bruce W. Wessels, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, one of the paper’s authors. “We are using ‘spintronic’ logic devices to successfully perform the same operations as a conventional CMOS circuits but with fewer devices and more computing power.”
Toward achieving 1 million times increase in computing efficiency
July 11, 2012
—- The spin-logic circuits are created with magnetoresistive bipolar spin-transistors, recently patented by researchers in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
A novel magnetic shielding structure provides this logic family with the crucial ability to cascade logic stages. This logic family achieves a power-delay product 10 to 25 times smaller than conventional emitter-coupled logic (ECL), and can therefore be exploited to increase the performance of very high-speed circuits, according to the researchers.
NANOARCH 2012 PROGRAM