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Our electronics can no longer shrink and are on the verge of overheating. But in a new discovery from the University of Copenhagen, researchers have uncovered a fundamental property of magnetism, which may become relevant for the development of a new generation of more powerful and less hot computers.

The ongoing miniaturization of components for computers which have electrons as their vehicles for information transfer has become challenged. Instead, it could be possible to use magnetism and thereby keep up the development of both cheaper and more powerful computers. This is one of the perspectives as scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI), University of Copenhagen, today publish a new discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

"The function of a computer involves sending electric current through a microchip. While the amount is tiny, the current will not only transport information but also contribute to heating up the chip. When you have a huge number of components tightly packed, the heat becomes a problem. This is one of the reasons why we have reached the limit for how much you can shrink the components. A computer based on magnetism would avoid the problem of overheating," says Professor Kim Lefmann, Condensed Matter Physics, NBI.

"Our discovery is not a direct recipe for making a computer based on magnetism. Rather we have disclosed a fundamental magnetic property which you need to control, if you want to design a such computer."

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