Memory-hungry, power-sapping big data might finally have met its match.

Electrical engineers at Northwestern University and the University of Messina in Italy have developed a new magnetic memory device that could potentially support the surge of data-centric computing, which requires ever-increasing power, storage and speed.

Based on antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials, the device is the smallest of its kind ever demonstrated and operates with record-low electrical current to write data.

"The rise of has enabled the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud and on edge devices and is fundamentally transforming the computing, networking and data storage industries," said Northwestern's Pedram Khalili, who led the research. "However, existing hardware cannot sustain the rapid growth of data-centric computing. Our technology potentially could solve this challenge."

The research will be published on Feb. 10 in the journal Nature Electronics.

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