Modern-day computers are based on logic circuits using semiconductor transistors. To increase computing power, smaller transistors are required. Moore's Law states that the number of transistors that can fit on an integrated circuit should double every two years due to scaling. But as transistors reach atomic dimensions, achieving this feat is becoming increasingly difficult.
Among the most significant challenges is heat dissipation from circuits created using today's standard semiconductor technology, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS), which give off more heat as more transistors are added. This makes CMOS incapable of supporting the computers of the future.
Engineers are therefore seeking alternatives to CMOS that would allow for highly efficient computer logic circuits that generate much less heat. Northwestern University researchers may have found a solution: an entirely new logic circuit family based on magnetic semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to logic circuits up to 1 million times more power-efficient than today's.