A research group based at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Seoul, South Korea, has developed a circuit that may get around these problems. The device, described in a paper published on Nature’s website on 30 January, uses magnetism to control the flow of electrons across a minuscule bridge of the semiconducting material indium antimonide (S. Joo et al. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11817; 2013). It is “a new and interesting twist on how to implement a logic gate”, says Gian Salis, a physicist at IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory in Switzerland.
This seems like a revolutionary discovery if it can be manufactured relatively easily. And then there’s this:
But Johnson notes that magnetism is already catching on in circuit design: some advanced devices are beginning to use a magnetic version of random access memory, a type of memory that has historically been built only with conventional transistors. “I think a shift is already under way,” he says.