Researchers Model an Actual Spintronics Computing Device

Loraine Lawson

Good news from the spintronics field! It seems a team of researchers have figured out how spintronics can be used in an actual device to do actual computing.


Regular readers will know I've developed something of a growing obsession with spintronics.


Well, I'm not the only one excited about this news. Spintronics researchers are pretty excited themselves, since better, more flexible microprocessors are one of the main drivers for their research. After all, conventional microprocessors are pushing their capacity limits. And when that happens - well, we don't want to know what comes next.


But to date, no one had modeled how this technology could be translated into an actual piece of hardware.


Thanks to Hanan Dery, Arin Dalal, Lukasz Cywinski, and Lu Jeu Sham, we may never need to. The New Scientist reports:

... researchers at the University of California, San Diego, in the U.S., have drawn up plans for a semiconductor-based spintronic device that performs the same logical operations as the transistors in a normal silicon chip. They have also shown how its spintronic logic gates could be integrated into large-scale integrated circuits.

They modeled this with software, but simulations predict it could be scaled down to compete with silicon-based processors.


What's particularly intriguing, though, is that these spintronics-based processors could be rewired simply by "shifting the magnetization of the logic gates."

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