Future computers to generate their own power through heat
Ever sat watching the telly with your laptop on your knee feeling your thighs cook as the wheezing, ailing fan farts out warm air?
Well, there's good news. No. Computers won't get cooler, but rather, they will be able to convert their own heat into power apparently.
Scientists at Ohio State University reckon that computer processors will be able to run on heat rather than electricity.
It's all got something to do with their experiments with a semiconductor material called gallium manganese arsenide (yes, we smirked at it as well) which, and here comes the boffinspeak, see heat able to be converted into a phenomenon known as “spin”, which affects the way electrons are lined up.
Clever people are working to develop a systems that harnesses the spin of electrons to read and write data in a process called 'spintronics'. The Ohio team have discovered something that they're calling 'thermo-spintronics' which will convert heat to electron spin which will power your computer.
“Spintronics is considered as a possible basis for new computers in part because the technology is claimed to produce no heat,” said team leader Joseph Heremans. “Our measurements shed light on the thermodynamics of spintronics, and may help address the validity of this claim.”