Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing

Date:
August 16, 2011
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
A new type of integrated circuit may be so energy efficient that it could run simply by harvesting energy from the environment.

By combining two frontier technologies, spintronics and straintronics, a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University has devised perhaps the world's most miserly integrated circuit. Their proposed design runs on so little energy that batteries are not even necessary; it could run merely by tapping the ambient energy from the environment. Rather than the traditional charge-based electronic switches that encode the basic 0s and 1s of computer lingo, spintronics harnesses the natural spin -- either up or down -- of electrons to store bits of data.

Spin one way and you get a 0; switch the spin the other way -- typically by applying a magnetic field or by a spin-polarized current pulse -- and you get a 1. During switching, spintronics uses considerably less energy than charge-based electronics. However, when ramped up to usable processing speeds, much of that energy savings is lost in the mechanism through which the energy from the outside world is transferred to the magnet.

The solution, as proposed in the AIP's journal Applied Physics Letters, is to use a special class of composite structure called multiferroics. These composite structures consist of a layer of piezoelectric material with intimate contact to a magnetostrictive nanomagnet (one that changes shape in response to strain). When a tiny voltage is applied across the structure, it generates strain in the piezoelectric layer, which is then transferred to the magnetostrictive layer. This strain rotates the direction of magnetism, achieving the flip. With the proper choice of materials, the energy dissipated can be as low as 0.4 attojoules, or about a billionth of a billionth of a joule. This proposed design would create an extremely low-power, yet high-density, non-volatile magnetic logic and memory system.

The processors would be well suited for implantable medical devices and could run on energy harvested from the patient's body motion. They also could be incorporated into buoy-mounted computers that would harvest energy from sea waves, among other intriguing possibilities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kuntal Roy, Supriyo Bandyopadhyay, Jayasimha Atulasimha. Hybrid spintronics and straintronics: A magnetic technology for ultra low energy computing and signal processing. Applied Physics Letters, 2011; 99 (6): 063108 DOI: 10.1063/1.3624900

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815113615.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2011, August 16). Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815113615.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815113615.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Mystery Barge Headed For The Scrap Yard

Google Mystery Barge Headed For The Scrap Yard

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) We may never know what was going on inside one of Google's mystery barges in Portland, Maine as it's now headed for the scrap yard. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream?

Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream?

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email, using his communications expertise in an attempt to change the way people connect at work, where the incessant drumbeat of email has become an excruciating annoyance. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins