The thermodynamics of computation—a review

  title={The thermodynamics of computation—a review},
  author={Charles H. Bennett},
  journal={International Journal of Theoretical Physics},
  • C. H. Bennett
  • Published 1 December 1982
  • Physics
  • International Journal of Theoretical Physics
Computers may be thought of as engines for transforming free energy into waste heat and mathematical work. Existing electronic computers dissipate energy vastly in excess of the mean thermal energykT, for purposes such as maintaining volatile storage devices in a bistable condition, synchronizing and standardizing signals, and maximizing switching speed. On the other hand, recent models due to Fredkin and Toffoli show that in principle a computer could compute at finite speed with zero energy… 
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