Future computers could be built around a CPU made from magnetic ‘tornadoes’, according to new research into nanotechnology.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have shown it is possible to create the fundamental building blocks of a CPU, called logic gates, using magnetic materials.
Lead researcher, Dr Tom Hayward explained: “In wires of magnetic material, two hundred times thinner than a human hair, magnetism can form into swirling 'tornadoes', known as magnetic vortex domain walls.
“In our simulations, we use vortices where the magnetism turns clockwise to represent 0 and vortices where it turns anticlockwise to represent 1, allowing us to encode binary data. The vortices are then flowed through the wires using, and interacted with, carefully defined features in the wires that recreate the function of logic gates.”
Hayward believes that a computer built around a CPU made of magnetic material should be much more power efficient than existing technologies, as it should be able to function with minimal energy consumption.