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Spintronics is a new discipline in which the spin of the electron is used as an additional degree of freedom besides its electrical charge to build innovative electronic components. Magnetic materials can be used as spin polarizer/analyzer in association with semiconductors or insulators, resulting in hybrid CMOS/magnetic architectures. Magnetic Tunnel Junctions (MTJ) are the basic elements of a new kind of memory, called MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory). Besides MRAM, it has recently been shown that by combining MTJ and CMOS components, one can also develop new functionalities for logic devices. This paper aims at giving a general overview of these novel hybrid magnetic/CMOS architectures and the design tools required for their design.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2009