“They’re actually maximally efficient, in the sense that they use up only the energy that is theoretically required to carry out a computation,” said electrical engineer Brian Lambson of the University of California at Berkeley. The results will be published in Physical Review Letters.
Nanomagnetic chips are made from material similar to refrigerator magnets, etched with rows of rectangles. Each rectangle measures about 100 nanometers on a side and has magnetic poles. Information is stored in how they point: One configuration is 1, the other is 0. Because the magnets are so small, they can be packed close enough for their magnetic fields to interact. Information passes without any physical changes to the chip.
“Magnetic systems are unique in that they have no moving parts,” Lambson said. “Moving parts are really what dissipate a lot of energy in physical systems, whether it’s moving electrons or physical material.”
I suggest everybody read the results when they come out, probably in a few weeks.