Researchers from Imperial College London and the Universities of Durham and Sheffield have just announced a breakthrough in microchip design that could revolutionize the computing industry.
The new microchip design has computing nodes connected by nano-cables with a structure similar to that of neurons and axons in the human brain.
In an article published by the journal Science, the researchers state that the microchip will combine the storage capacity of a hard disk with the low cost of memory cards, increasing memory capacity by 200 or, in other words, by an average of 500MB to an average of 100GB.
The breakthrough was made possible when scientists discovered that they could reproduce the basic functions of conventional microchips using just the “spin"(The spin) of electrons (responsible for magnetism) instead of the transistor" charge "that traditional microchips usually use.
This finding prompted the researchers to build 3D stacked processors. One of the scientists, Russell Cowburn, professor of nanotechnology at Imperial College, likens this process to using cabinets instead of a table to store things. In the words of this scientist, "traditionally we have used electronics for microchips and magnetism for hard drives." This was the first time that both approaches have been combined to create a new generation of 3-dimensional microchips that store much more data than a flat two-dimensional surface.
The team is currently collaborating with business partners to develop a new generation of computer hardware, and they hope to have the first products within the next few years.