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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jul 1;107(1):010604. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Exploring the thermodynamic limits of computation in integrated systems: magnetic memory, nanomagnetic logic, and the Landauer limit.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, 94709, USA.


Nanomagnetic memory and logic circuits are attractive integrated platforms for studying the fundamental thermodynamic limits of computation. Using the stochastic Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation, we show by direct calculation that the amount of energy dissipated during nanomagnet erasure approaches Landauer's thermodynamic limit of kTln(2) with high precision when the external magnetic fields are applied slowly. In addition, we find that nanomagnet systems behave according to generalized formulations of Landauer's principle that hold for small systems and generic logic operations. In all cases, the results are independent of the anisotropy energy of the nanomagnet. Lastly, we apply our computational approach to a nanomagnet majority logic gate, where we find that dissipationless, reversible computation can be achieved when the magnetic fields are applied in the appropriate order.

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