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Logic Switch Uses No Electric Current:

from The ARRL Letter on August 15, 2019
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Logic Switch Uses No Electric Current:

The Smart2.0 Newsletter for May 13 reported on a logic switch that uses no electric current. According to the article, researchers at New York University say the new method of controlling magnetic circuits is energy efficient, promising lower heat and energy costs in applications such as large server farms or in the artificial intelligence arena, which requires massive amounts of memory.

"The method uses a voltage-controlled topological spin switch (VTOPSS) that requires only electric fields, rather than currents, to switch between two Boolean logic states, greatly reducing the heat generated and energy used," the article explains. "Spin can be transported without a charge with the use of a topological insulator -- a material whose interior is insulating but that can support the flow of electrons on its surface."

Compared with existing spin-based devices, researchers claim the VTOPSS offers 10 to 70 times lower energy dissipation and 70 to 1,700 times lower energy-delay product. The VTOPSS technology, the researchers add, "offers competitive metrics compared with existing CMOS technology, and interconnect issues that dominate the performance in CMOS logic are relatively less significant for the VTOPSS, enabling it to switch between two states more effectively."

"Imagine if you were preparing a recipe and had to go into a different room anytime you needed an ingredient before returning to the kitchen to add it," says NYU Tandon School of Engineering Assistant Professor Shaloo Rakheja, the principal author of an academic paper on VTOPSS. "It's just as inefficient when the portions of computing hardware needed to do a calculation and the portions needed to store it are not well integrated."

The article noted that VTOPSS can reduce reliance on cloud memory, potentially making computing safer, because it would be harder for to gain access to a system's hardware.


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