Computation Without Current

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Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 274
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.274

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Today's computers transfer information via currents and thus via charge transfer. One alternative avenue utilizes transfer of a polarization state in a chain or array of so-called cellular automata. Such an arrangement has the advantage of being able to perform logical functions at a very small spatial scale, but many technical challenges remain before such an approach can lead to a practical application in computer technology. Smith (page 274) discusses recent advances in performing simple logical functions with arrays of cellular automata (Amlani et al., page 289).