Single-Electron Parametron: Reversible Computation in a Discrete-State System

Science  09 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5276, pp. 763-765
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5276.763


The energy dissipation in a proposed digital device in which discrete degrees of freedom are used to represent digital information (a “single-electron parametron”) was analyzed. If the switching speed is not too high, the device may operate reversibly (adiabatically), and the energy dissipation ϵ per bit may be much less than the thermal energy scale kBT (where kB is Boltzmann's constant and T is temperature). The energy-time product ϵτ is, however, much greater than Planck's constant ℏ, at least in the standard “orthodox” model of single-electron tunneling that was used in these calculations.