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Magnetic memory and logic could achieve ultimate energy efficiency Print
Friday, 01 July 2011 00:00

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.

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In magnetic contrast images (top) taken by the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the bright spots are nanomagnets with their north ends pointing down (represented by red bar below) and the dark spots are north-up nanomagnets (blue). The six nanomagnets form a majority logic gate transistor, where the output on the right of the center bar is determined by the majority of three inputs on the top, left and bottom. Horizontal neighboring magnets tend to point in alternate directions, while vertical neighbors prefer to point in the same direction. (Image: Jeffrey Bokor lab, UC Berkeley)