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Research takes new spin on Moore's Law


IBM and Stanford University plan to announce today a research collaboration aimed at developing a branch of electronics known as ``spintronics,' which has the lofty goal of trying to keep the electronics revolution from fizzling out....

...The researchers involved say their work is aimed at propping up Moore's Law, the observation first made by Intel Chairman Emeritus Gordon Moore that the number of transistors in a chip, and therefore chip performance, doubles every 18 months or so. After several decades of progress, Moore's Law is running into some fundamental barriers of physics, such as the fact that increasing miniaturization is producing chips that give off too much heat as they run.

That is happening because electrons carry an electrical charge that creates heat as it flows through a chip. People experience that heat when they leave a laptop running on their knees, for instance. But now the heat is becoming so intense that it threatens to halt further improvements in chip performance.

Spintronics promises to alleviate that problem by capitalizing on another property of electrons, their magnetic spin....

...Spintronics as a field is about 15 years old, established when IBM invented a sensor that could detect the spin of an electron....
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