CWmike writes: Physicists at the University of California at Riverside have made a breakthrough in developing a 'spin computer,' which would combine logic with nonvolatile memory, bypassing the need for computers to boot up. The advance could also lead to superfast chips. The new transistor technology, which one lead scientist believes could become a reality in about five years, would reduce power consumption to the point where eventually computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices could remain on all the time. The breakthrough came when scientists at UC Riverside successfully injected a spinning electron into a resistor material called graphene, which is essentially a very thin layer of graphite, just like you might find in a pencil. The graphene in this case is one-atom thick. The process is known as 'tunneling spin injection.' A lead scientist for the project said the clock speeds of chips made using tunneling spin injection would be 'thousands of times' faster than today's processors. He describes the tech as a totally new concept that 'will essentially give memory some brains.'