Graphene 'Spin Computers' Could Bring Smaller, Faster Gadgets

A model of the crystalline structure of graphene.
A model of the crystalline structure of graphene.

As reported at physorg.com, University of California, Riverside physicists have made breakthroughs in developing graphene-based “spin computers”. A spin computer would allow for huge storage capacity using a fraction of the power consumption of current electronics. This is accomplished through polarization of electrons--the spin process actually gives each a directional orientation, up or down. A spin computer would maximize usage of this state of materials to store more data, perform faster, and generate less heat than standard electronics.

What this means is coming down the pipe we’ll see exponentially larger hard drive capacity in smaller and smaller packaging; hard drives that use less power and generate less heat with every iteration of the technology. Laptops will get lighter, last longer on battery and not scorch laps. Mobile devices will be able to store your entire media library (well, your approved media library).

Everything and everyone would benefit from this technology in some fashion. From a limited personal perspective, having to be tied to the Cloud will be less important because you’ll be able to carry it all with you in a tiny package, and by that same token from a large business perspective today’s vast data centers with endless racks of disk arrays will be able to be reduced to something more fiscally and energy friendly.

Those are two conservative examples - imagining refinement of the technology brings to mind near limitless storage capacity devices micro-chip sized. Our brains are fairly simply organic computers--Johnny Mnemonic doesn’t seem that far fetched anymore.

[Physorg / Photo: CORE-Materials on Flickr, used under Creative Commons ]

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