European researchers working on the Nanospin project have developed spintronic devices using ferromagnetic semiconductors. Although still in development, spintronics has already led to faster, instant-on technology and massive increases in data storage capacity. Spintronic devices also use little power and are highly scalable. "It takes a very low current to switch spin, which makes these devices very efficient," says Nanospin co-coordinator Charles Gould. He also says that, theoretically, spintronic devices could have very high switching speeds. "We have not proven this in the lab yet, but many results in the theory have already been proven, so high switching speeds [are quite likely]," Gould says. The Nanospin project sought to achieve four objectives: writing information to ferromagnetic semiconductors, retrieving that information, switching between different states at high speeds, and the theoretical modeling of the devices to explain their operation and optimize performance. The researchers say the project was successful on all accounts. "Currently, we are looking at logic schemes for spintronics, so we are moving from memory and storage to processing," Gould says.
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