Abstracts

Igor Neri
NiPS Laboratory, University of Perugia


Fundamental energy costs for memory preservation

In 1961 Landauer pointed out that resetting a binary memory requires a minimum energy of k_BTln(2) where kB is the Boltzmann constant and T the absolute temperature of the memory device.
Any memory however, is doomed to loose its content as time proceeds if no action is taken. In order to avoid memory loss, a refresh procedure is periodically performed with time interval t_R.
In this paper we show that it does exist a fundamental bound to the minimum energy required to preserve one bit of information for a time t, with probability of error less than P_E, and that this energy is a monotonically decreasing function of t_R. Two main conclusions are drawn: the good news is that, in principle, the cost of remembering can be arbitrarily reduced if the refresh procedure is performed often enough. The bad news is that no memory can be preserved forever, no matter how much energy is invested.




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