Nanoscale magnets promise more-shrinkable chips

Nanoscale magnets can be cajoled into performing the same digital arithmetic as the transistor-based logic gates in computer chips, according to a new study.

The research suggests that today’s transistors, which will approach their limits of miniaturisation sometime in the next couple of decades, could eventually be replaced by more shrinkable nanomagnet technology – allowing ever more powerful, faster processors to continue to be constructed.

Better still, the function of the magnetic logic gates can be changed after the hardware has been built, meaning that hardware could be “reprogrammed” – potentially making gadgets that use them far more versatile.