Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley said computers in the future can achieve maximum energy efficiency by replacing its silicon-based microprocessor with magnetic microprocessors and magnetic memory ICs. They said that magnetic microprocessors could do the memory and other functions of computers better than its silicon predecessors. Nanomagnetic Microprocessors and nanomagnetic memory chips would dissipate only 18 millielectron volts of energy per operation at room temperature, the minimum allowed by the second law of thermodynamics and called the Landauer limit. That’s one million times less energy per operation than consumed by today’s computers.

Today’s semiconductor-based computers run on electricity by moving electrons around a circuit, you can process information, require a minimum amount of energy to perform a logical operation, which would translate to heat. Present computers fitted with silicon microprocessors produce a lot of waste heat due to its reliance on electric currents, or the movement of electrons, to perform logical operations.

But microprocessors employing nanometer-sized bar magnets – like tiny refrigerator magnets – for memory, logic and switching operations theoretically would require no moving electrons. Magnetic processors fitted in future computers, these operations can be performed with a million times less energy as it does not make use of electron flow to execute it.

Magnetic computers don’t involve any moving electrons. Magnetic computers store and process information using nonomagnets that are packed very close together so that they interact with one another. The up-or-down orientation of the pole can be used to represent the 0 and 1 of binary computer memory. The nanomagnets perform simple logic operations and behave like transistors when a lot of them are brought together causing interactions through dipole-dipole forces.