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The Promise of Nanomagnetics and Spintronics for Future Logic and Universal Memory

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5 Author(s)
Stuart A. Wolf ; Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA ; Jiwei Lu ; Mircea R. Stan ; Eugene Chen
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This paper is both a review of some recent developments in the utilization of magnetism for applications to logic and memory and a description of some new innovations in nanomagnetics and spintronics. Nanomagnetics is primarily based on the magnetic interactions, while spintronics is primarily concerned with devices that utilize spin polarized currents. With the end of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) in sight, nanomagnetics can provide a new paradigm for information process using the principles of magnetic quantum cellular automata (MQCA). This paper will review and describe these principles and then introduce a new nonlithographic method of producing reconfigurable arrays of MQCAs and/or storage bits that can be configured electrically. Furthermore, this paper will provide a brief description of magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM), the first mainstream spintronic nonvolatile random access memory and project how far its successor spin transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) can go to provide a truly universal memory that can in principle replace most, if not all, semiconductor memories in the near future. For completeness, a description of an all-metal logic architecture based on magnetoresistive structures (transpinnor) will be described as well as some approaches to logic using magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs).

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:98 ,  Issue: 12 )