From the UC Davis Egghead Blog:
Electronic circuits generate a lot of heat, as you will have noticed if you have had a laptop actually in your lap. That represents wasted energy, and even more energy has to be used to keep racks of servers cool. This becomes a major problem – and a cost – as server farms become larger.
James Crutchfield, a physics professor and director of the Complexity Sciences Center at UC Davis and graduate student Kyle Ray have a cooler proposal, and it involves a fundamental shift in how computers handle information.
A paper about the work is currently available as a preprint and was featured on the cover of the July issue of Scientific American.
The new approach could reduce energy costs for computing at least 1000 to 10,000-fold, Crutchfield said.
“Likely more, if we devote more effort to optimization,” he said.
Crutchfield and Ray’s solution to the heat dissipation limit is to use the momentum, not position, of particles to carry information. Momentum carries information as both position and velocity, they reason. Through a series of simulations, they show that momentum computing can be performed with very low energy dissipation. ...
Read the full post on the UC Davis Egghead Blog here.