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Primeur weekly 2011-08-22

Exascale supercomputing

Japan plans to invest $1.3 billion to develop supercomputer ...

NVIDIA taps industry veteran Steve Scott to help shape the future of high performance computing ...

The Cloud

Regulus Communications launches Cloud resources for health information technology ...

ISGC 2012 to issue Call for Papers ...

Erlang Solutions and Massive Solutions partner to bring supercomputing to the mass market ...

Biomedical research gets its head into Cloud computing ...

HP to acquire enterprise information management software company Autonomy Corporation plc ...

Convenience store chain chooses IBM to collaborate in the Cloud ...

VMware vCloud Powered programme gains traction with service provider ecosystem, delivering customers a broad array of public Clouds compatible with VMware platform ...

VMware CEO Paul Maritz highlights benefits of Cloud computing at DISA Customer & Industry Forum ...

U.S. Government agencies embrace desktop virtualization with VMware View to accelerate their mission ...

EuroFlash

Norwegian University of Science and Technology selects SGI to take weather forecasting and national research capabilities to the next level ...

T-Platforms computer cluster is applied for simulation of biopolymers and development of the latest medicines ...

ClusterVision honours leading scientific researchers at the University of Birmingham ...

USFlash

NSF funds research to simulate geoscience field trips ...

HP confirms discussions with Autonomy regarding possible business combination ...

IBM unveils cognitive computing chips ...

Optics Express focus issue highlights research to increase Internet bandwidth capacity ...

Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing ...

SGI acquires OpenCFD Ltd., an expert in open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software ...

SGI reports record results for fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2011 ...

Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing

15 Aug 2011 Richmond - By combining two frontier technologies, spintronics and straintronics, a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University has devised perhaps the world's most miserly integrated circuit. Their proposed design runs on so little energy that batteries are not even necessary; it could run merely by tapping the ambient energy from the environment.

Rather than the traditional charge-based electronic switches that encode the basic 0s and 1s of computer lingo, spintronics harnesses the natural spin - either up or down - of electrons to store bits of data. Spin one way and you get a 0; switch the spin the other way - typically by applying a magnetic field or by a spin-polarized current pulse - and you get a 1.

During switching, spintronics uses considerably less energy than charge-based electronics. However, when ramped up to usable processing speeds, much of that energy savings is lost in the mechanism through which the energy from the outside world is transferred to the magnet. The solution, as proposed in the AIP's journalApplied Physics Letters, is to use a special class of composite structure called multiferroics.

These composite structures consist of a layer of piezo-electric material with intimate contact to a magnetostrictive nanomagnet - one that changes shape in response to strain. When a tiny voltage is applied across the structure, it generates strain in the piezo-electric layer, which is then transferred to the magnetostrictive layer. This strain rotates the direction of magnetism, achieving the flip. With the proper choice of materials, the energy dissipated can be as low as 0.4 attojoules, or about a billionth of a billionth of a joule.

This proposed design would create an extremely low-power, yet high-density, non-volatile magnetic logic and memory system. The processors would be well suited for implantable medical devices and could run on energy harvested from the patient's body motion. They also could be incorporated into buoy-mounted computers that would harvest energy from sea waves, among other intriguing possibilities.

The article, titled "Hybrid spintronics and straintronics: A magnetic technology for ultra-low-energy computing signal processing" is published inApplied Physics Letters. The authors are Kuntal Roy, Supriyo Bandyopadhyay, and Jayasimha Atulasimha.
Source: American Institute of Physics

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2011-08-22

Exascale supercomputing

Japan plans to invest $1.3 billion to develop supercomputer ...

NVIDIA taps industry veteran Steve Scott to help shape the future of high performance computing ...

The Cloud

Regulus Communications launches Cloud resources for health information technology ...

ISGC 2012 to issue Call for Papers ...

Erlang Solutions and Massive Solutions partner to bring supercomputing to the mass market ...

Biomedical research gets its head into Cloud computing ...

HP to acquire enterprise information management software company Autonomy Corporation plc ...

Convenience store chain chooses IBM to collaborate in the Cloud ...

VMware vCloud Powered programme gains traction with service provider ecosystem, delivering customers a broad array of public Clouds compatible with VMware platform ...

VMware CEO Paul Maritz highlights benefits of Cloud computing at DISA Customer & Industry Forum ...

U.S. Government agencies embrace desktop virtualization with VMware View to accelerate their mission ...

EuroFlash

Norwegian University of Science and Technology selects SGI to take weather forecasting and national research capabilities to the next level ...

T-Platforms computer cluster is applied for simulation of biopolymers and development of the latest medicines ...

ClusterVision honours leading scientific researchers at the University of Birmingham ...

USFlash

NSF funds research to simulate geoscience field trips ...

HP confirms discussions with Autonomy regarding possible business combination ...

IBM unveils cognitive computing chips ...

Optics Express focus issue highlights research to increase Internet bandwidth capacity ...

Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing ...

SGI acquires OpenCFD Ltd., an expert in open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software ...

SGI reports record results for fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2011 ...