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Review
. 2009 Oct 14;20(41):412001.
doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/41/412001. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Electron Spin for Classical Information Processing: A Brief Survey of Spin-Based Logic Devices, Gates and Circuits

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Review

Electron Spin for Classical Information Processing: A Brief Survey of Spin-Based Logic Devices, Gates and Circuits

Supriyo Bandyopadhyay et al. Nanotechnology. .

Abstract

In electronics, information has been traditionally stored, processed and communicated using an electron's charge. This paradigm is increasingly turning out to be energy-inefficient, because movement of charge within an information processing device invariably causes current flow and an associated dissipation. Replacing 'charge' with the 'spin' of an electron to encode information may eliminate much of this dissipation and lead to more energy-efficient 'green electronics'. This realization has spurred significant research in spintronic devices and circuits where spin either directly acts as the physical variable for hosting information or augments the role of charge. In this review article, we discuss and elucidate some of these ideas, and highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Many of them can potentially reduce energy dissipation significantly, but unfortunately are error-prone and unreliable. Moreover, there are serious obstacles to their technological implementation that may be difficult to overcome in the near term. This review addresses three constructs: (1) single devices or binary switches that can be constituents of Boolean logic gates for digital information processing, (2) complete gates that are capable of performing specific Boolean logic operations, and (3) combinational circuits or architectures (equivalent to many gates working in unison) that are capable of performing universal computation.

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