Watch out graphene. Just a week after IBM said the two dimensional wonder-carbon would never fully replace silicon, graphene has yet more competition.
Qubits and Pieces
News from the frontline of the weird and wonderful world of quantum computing. From the theoretical musings of solid state physicists to breakthroughs you might actually see in a data centre in your lifetime, we'll be keeping an eye on stuff that matters in materials science, including graphene, condensed matter, diamonds and so on. And last, but by no mean least, we'll be tracking the spin on spintronics. Just don't mention room temperature.
Lucy Sherriff is a journalist, science geek and general liker of all things techie and clever. In a previous life she put her physics degree to moderately good use by writing about science for that other tech website, The Register. After a bit of a break, it seemed like a good time to start blogging about weird quantum stuff for ZDNet. And so here we are.
Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University say that their work with layers of nanometre scale magnets could pave the way for processors so power efficient could draw the energy they need from their environment.Such low power devices could be made possible by combining the emerging field of spintronics with new techniques involving nanometre scale magnets.
Silicon might have to share the spotlight with graphene, but it won’t be totally retired. So say researchers at IBM, who have found that their graphene transistors can’t be fully switched off.
Hitachi says it is to boost its overseas research and development, beginning by doubling its research staff outside of Japan to around 300.The firm’s Cambridge research lab has been given particular responsibility for staking the company’s claim in the emerging field of spintronics – the next evolutionary step up from traditional electronics.
Researchers in Singapore have succeeded in incorporating graphene into the anode of a lithium-ion battery, a breakthrough that could dramatically improve the life expectancy of an individual battery, and pave the way for higher capacity batteries, capable of providing more power to a device.
Breakthroughs in quantum networking are just like buses. You wait for ages and then two come along at once.
There is a crafty vibe in the air of materials science. Earlier this week we brought news that researchers investigating how graphene forms discovered a patchwork-like structure in the carbon monolayers.
Graphene, wonder material though it may be, is horribly difficult to grow in the clean, perfect sheets that electronics engineers need to build the successors to today’s silicon chips. But new research from scientists at Cornell will make it easier to see where the defects are in a sheet of graphene, leading eventually to better fabrication processes.
Computer scientists have now shown that the right software will allow classical computers to perform at the same pace as their still-mostly-theoretical qubit-laden counterparts.
Using electric fields rather than magnetic ones to control the spin of an electron, researchers in the Netherlands have developed a new flavour of qubit in an Indium Arsenide nanowire. The new approach could one day play a part in quantum cryptography, according to Nature.