The Last Barrier To Ultra-Miniaturized Electronics Is Broken, Thanks To A New Type Of Inductor
“In conventional metallic conductors, kinetic inductance is negligible, and so it’s never been applied in conventional circuits before. But if it could be applied, it would be a revolutionary advance for miniaturization, since unlike magnetic inductance, its value doesn’t depend on the inductor’s surface area. With that fundamental limitation removed, it could be possible to create a kinetic inductor that’s far smaller than any magnetic inductor we’ve ever made. And if we can engineer that advance, perhaps we can take the next great leap forward in miniaturization.”
In the quest for better electronics, there are two milestones that go hand-in-hand: going smaller and going faster. The smaller you can engineer your circuits, the less distance the electric current has to travel, and hence the faster your devices become, as well as lighter and smaller. Over the past few decades, a slew of circuit elements have gotten smaller, including transistors, resistors and capacitors. But the inductor has hit a wall, as applications of magnetic inductors have changed little since they were first put forth by Faraday nearly 200 years ago. But, for the first time, a new type of inductor, a kinetic inductor, has been successfully engineered to work at room temperatures and in circuit-based devices. Already, they’re more efficient in terms of inductance-per-unit-area than any magnetic inductor of comparable size, and they look poised to develop even further.
This could revolutionize everything from wearable devices to smart homes to sensing and communications technologies. Find out all about these new miniaturized inductors, and how they just might change the world.