The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Nanomagnets to the Rescue

A new breed of compact magnets promises to rid electronics of hot, bulky power supplies

4 min read

In the past 30 years, transistors on chips have shrunk about a millionfold, while the magnets on those chips have shrunk barely a thousandfold, leaving them the biggest, heaviest, hottest, least-efficient components on many a circuit board.

”They take up the largest real estate in computers. They’re the size of cellphones in cellphones,” says Danny Xiao, chief technology officer at nanomaterials firm Inframat Corp. in Farmington, Conn.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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