See Inside August 2005


Magnetic logic may usher in an era in which computing devices can change instantly from one type of hardware to another

Flexibility or performance?

That choice is a constant trade-off for microprocessor designers. General-purpose processors in personal computers execute a broad set of software commands that can cope with any task from graphics to complex calculations. But their flexibility comes at the expense of speed. In contrast, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), optimized for a given task, such as the computing required in graphics or sound cards, are very fast but lack adaptability.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content

It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article


Next Article