Supercomputers without waste heat

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This is a scanning tunnelling microscope installed in a helium cooling device seen from below (with the sample stage removed). The mechanism for positioning the microscope tip above the sample surface is visible (center of image).

Generally speaking, magnetism and the lossless flow of electrical current (“superconductivity”) are competing phenomena that cannot coexist in the same sample. However, for building supercomputers, synergetically combining both states comes with major advantages as compared to today’s semiconductor technology, which has come under pressure due to its high power consumption and resulting heat production. Researchers from the Department of Physics at the University of Konstanz have now demonstrated that the lossless electrical transfer of magnetically encoded information is possible. This finding enables enhanced storage density on integrated circuit chips and, at the same time, significantly reduces the energy consumption of computing centres. The results of this study have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications

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