We probably wouldn’t have a Digital Age without silicon.
The second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (oxygen is No. 1), silicon is cheap and has the ability to conduct electricity and/or act as an insulator. Converted into silicon wafers, it powers the computers, smartphones and other electronic devices we use to work and, importantly, to avoid work. So clearly silicon is indispensable.
Or maybe not. Our insatiable demand for more and more data, along with the need to store it, is pushing the limits of what silicon can deliver in terms of speed, density, and security. In a bid to find a worthy successor to silicon-based memory devices, MIT physicists are zeroing in something called antiferromagnets.
Source:: Network World – Data Center