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Refining Landauer’s Stack: Balancing Error and Dissipation When Erasing Information

  • Author(s): Wimsatt, GW;
  • Boyd, AB;
  • Riechers, PM;
  • Crutchfield, JP
  • et al.

Nonequilibrium information thermodynamics determines the minimum energy dissipation to reliably erase memory under time-symmetric control protocols. We demonstrate that its bounds are tight and so show that the costs overwhelm those implied by Landauer’s energy bound on information erasure. Moreover, in the limit of perfect computation, the costs diverge. The conclusion is that time-asymmetric protocols should be developed for efficient, accurate thermodynamic computing. And, that Landauer’s Stack—the full suite of theoretically-predicted thermodynamic costs—is ready for experimental test and calibration.

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