We are approaching the physical limits of our computer drives. Antiferromagnets could outdo our fastest technology without using huge amounts of energy
The effort to make ever-faster computer processors may be facing a looming problem – but there is a solution.
Historically, we have achieved faster processing speeds by cramming more transistors onto silicon chips. But silicon is limited by Moore’s Law, which says that the number of transistors ought to roughly double every two years. We have replaced silicon with magnetic solid state hard drives, but they, too, have their physical limitations.
Now, a team of physicists has created a new material and technique to write information 1000 times faster than today’s best hard drives or random access memories.
A computer hard drive is essentially a series of tiny magnets pieced together. When you save a file, pulses of electric current run through the drive to flip the orientations of those magnets up or down, representing the 1s and 0s of binary code. But these