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June 22, 2006

Inverse electron spin resonance could speed computers 500 times

Magnetic fields created using nanotechnology could make computers up to 500 times more powerful, if new research is successful. The process, called inverse electron spin resonance, uses the magnetic field to deflect electrons and to modify their magnetic direction. This creates oscillations of the electrons which makes them produce microwave energy. This can then be used to broadcast electric signals in free space without the weakening caused by wires.

The possibility of using the special semi-conductors in this way was first pointed out by Dr Alain Nogaret, of the University of Bath’s Department of Physics, in an important scientific paper in 2005 (Electrically Induced Raman Emission from Planar Spin Oscillator, in Physical Review Letters). The latest research is the first attempt to turn theory into practice.

if this research is successful, it could make computers with wireless semi-conductors a possibility within five or ten years of the end of the project. Then computers could be made anything from 200 to 500 times quicker and still be the same size.

“This research may also improve the accuracy and speed of medical diagnostic by gathering data from health monitoring sensors. The microwave emitters are small enough to be integrated on portable biological sensors which feed information out on faulty biological processes.

The advantage of the new more flexible system is that only 95 per cent or so of the electronic components would need to work for the chip to work properly. Such chips would be many times cheaper to produce.

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