Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Low-Energy Magnetic Computing For Efficient Processors And Memories

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A team from MIT successfully manipulated a super-thin magnet at room temperature, potentially paving the way for quicker and more efficient processors and computer memories.

MIT researchers have developed experimental computer memories and processors using magnetic materials that consume significantly less energy than traditional silicon-based devices. These two-dimensional magnetic materials, only a few atoms thick, promise to revolutionize computing with incredible speed, efficiency, and scalability. They have taken a significant step by demonstrating precise control of a van der Waals magnet at room temperature. This is crucial as these atomically thin magnetic materials typically require frigid temperatures for control, limiting their practical use outside the lab.

Magnetic Switching at Room Temperature

 The team achieved room-temperature magnetic switching using electrical current pulses. This technique is vital for computation and data storage, as it allows the representation of binary code and enables nonvolatile computer memories.  The researchers used a new material, iron gallium telluride, which retains its magnetism at higher temperatures. This material is more energy-efficient and requires significantly lower electrical current for switching compared to traditional magnetic devices. This breakthrough could lead to faster computers that use less electricity, nonvolatile magnetic computer memories, and more energy-efficient processors for complex AI algorithms.

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The team faced challenges such as the rapid oxidation of iron gallium telluride, requiring careful fabrication in a nitrogen-filled glovebox. Their next goal is to achieve magnetic switching without external magnetic fields, aiming to enhance their technology for commercial applications. This research, led by Deblina Sarkar and her team at MIT, was published in Nature Communications and represents a significant step towards more sustainable and efficient computing technologies.

Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Sondhi Gaur is a journalist at EFY. She has a German patent and brings a robust blend of 7 years of industrial & academic prowess to the table. Passionate about electronics, she has penned numerous research papers showcasing her expertise and keen insight.

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