A researcher with the Erik Jonsson School Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas, Dallas has designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon that might one day replace logic gates built from silicon transistors.
“The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way,” said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UT Dallas who conducted much of the research while he was a doctoral student at Northwestern University.
The result, an all-carbon spin logic proposal is a computing system that the researchers believe could eventually be made smaller than silicon transistors, while increasing performance.
Friedman’s all-carbon spintronic switch operates as a logic gate, relying on basic electromagnetics – electrical current creating a magnetic field around the wire it’s moving through. That field near a two-dimensional graphene nano ribbon affects the current flowing through that ribbon. While traditional silicon-based computer transistors cannot exploit this phenomenon, the spintronic circuit design provides cascaded logic gates that are not physically connected.
While the concept is still on the drawing board, Friedman said work toward a prototype of the all-carbon, cascaded spintronic computing system will continue in the interdisciplinary NanoSpinCompute research laboratory, which he directs at UT Dallas.
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