Hitachi targets spintronics with R&D boost

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.

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.

Spintronics has the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of semiconductor design by exploiting the two possible spin states of an electron as well as its charge, to represent the 1’s and 0’s needed for computer logic. (There is a useful primer here.)

Spintronics is also potentially much more energy efficient, and there is another significant nod to environmental technology from the firm in the US, where it plans to invest in greener automobile technologies. China and India also see more investment, in a "Social Innovation Business" and IT systems research respectively.