Agent of Change – Michael Fuhrer, Monash Science – Energy Consumption
I saw a problem that computing is using energy and it’s really starting to become significant and in the near future it’s going to become unsustainable. And I realised, I can change it. Computers work with little tiny switches called transistors. But the thing is there is billions of transistors on a given computer chip and they’re flipping literally billions of times a second and that ends up adding up to a lot of energy. There are some materials that exist happily as just one or a few atoms thick. One of the underpinnings of our centre of excellence is to use these atomically thin materials to realise new transistors are computing. There are lots of issues, there are scientific issues. Will it work? And then there are technological issues, can we build it? So, we’ve set up a real world leading capability here at Monash so we’re able to do experiments that few, if any facilities around the world, can do. It’s high risk, but enormous payoff. We absolutely have to do it, we don’t know what’s going to work, but we have to try.