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The Solution to Faster Computing? Sing to Your Data


A visualization of sound data.

Researchers from the universities of Leeds and Sheffield have found that certain types of sound waves can move data quickly, using minimal power.

Credit: University of Sheffield

Sound could be the solution to faster computing, according to researchers from the universities of Sheffield and Leeds. Their research has shown that certain types of sound waves can move data quickly, using minimal power. Moreover, the direction of data flow depends on the pitch of the sound generated.

The research marks the first time that surface acoustic waves--the same as the most destructive waves that can emanate from an earthquake--have been applied to a data storage system.

The key advantage of using surface acoustic waves to move data bits down the wires of a solid-state drive is their ability to travel up to several centimeters without decaying, says Sheffield's Tom Hayward. "Because of this, we think a single sound wave could be used to 'sing' to large numbers of nanowires simultaneously, enabling us to move a lot of data using very little power," he notes.

The team is now working to develop prototype devices.

From University of Sheffield
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