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Energy-efficient magnetic computers on the horizon

 

Narrator:        This is Science Today. Scientists believe that our silicon-based microprocessor chips may not be able to keep up with rapidly increasing technological demands. To stay ahead of the game, engineer Jeff Bokor of the University of California, Berkeley, is working on developing magnetic microprocessors, which could set the stage for energy efficient magnetic computers.

Bokor:            The challenge is that now we're packing so much information processing into one little chip of silicon that the amount of power that is required is hard to keep at that same low level.  So, we're looking for new ways to do that same information processing function with much less energy.

Narrator:        Bokor is experimenting with magnetic logic technology — using nano-sized magnets to process digital information. The technology has great potential but Bokor explains that it's still years away from being developed into a computer device.

Bokor:            We're now at the early stages of doing the basic research, kind of analogous to the early days of transistor research at Bell Laboratories in the 1950s.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.