Magnonica promises 1,000 times faster processors - and no overheat

Future devices like this one, based on magnet torque, will be faster, consume less power and will not overheat.

Magnetic wave computing

Singapore researchers have developed a revolutionary way to encode computational information without using electric current.

This will allow you to build faster appliances that can use energy efficiently without overheating, as well as more energy efficient logic and memory devices.

Instead of adopting the traditional electron injection methods used in traditional electronics, Yi Wang and his colleagues used "spin waves" to toggle bit magnetization.

Spin waves are propagations of disturbances in the crystal structure of magnetic materials. These waves are typically described as quasiparticles, known as " magnons ", and establish a kind of link between "electro" and "magnetism" . Just as the spin of electrons gave rise to spintronics , it was long hoped that magnons could be explored technologically, creating a magnetic.

In addition to everything operating at room temperature, the operating frequency of spin waves is in the terahertz range, at least a thousand times faster than the gigahertz of today's processors. Terahertz devices will be able to transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible.

Comparison between the operation of one component based on electron spin (spintronic) and another based on magnetic (magnetic) spin.


The team built a two-layer component consisting of an antiferromagnetic magnet transport channel and a spin source in the form of a topological insulator . In an unprecedented feat, they successfully demonstrated the switching of one-bit spin-wave magnetization in the ferromagnetic layer with high efficiency.

The new spin-erase bit-based switching scheme relies on the moving charges of electrons. Therefore, circuits using this mechanism should have significantly lower Joule power and heat dissipation than equivalent electronics - in simpler terms, processors that don't heat up and use very little energy, allowing a new wave of speed up in computing. and portable devices with much longer batteries.

"Spin waves (magnons) can transmit information even on insulating [materials] without involving moving loads. This unique property allows for longer spin propagation but less dissipation compared to electron spins.

"Then we can control the magnetization if we transfer the spin information from the magnons to the local magnetization, which can be understood as a 'magnet torque'. Just as a linear force is an impulse or a traction, a torque can be considered as a Thus, this new way of manipulating magnetization can be used for future logic and memory devices.

"We know that electric spin torque has opened the era for applications of spintronic devices such as random access magnetic memories (MRAMs). We believe that our description of the new magnetization torque scheme for magnetization switching is a revolutionary idea in spintronics. "It will reinvigorate not only a new area of ​​research in magnetic, but also practical, magnon-operated devices," said Wang Yi of the National University of Singapore.

Next, the team plans to work to further increase the efficiency of the magnet torques and start building the various magnetic components that can have the same functionality as the electronics, but without involving any electrical parts.


Article: Magnetization switching by magnon-mediated spin torque through an antiferromagnetic insulator

Authors: Yi Wang, Dapeng Zhu, Yumeng Yang, Kyusup Lee, Rahul Mishra, Gyungchoon Go, Se-Hyeok Oh, Dong-Hyun Kim, Kaiming Cai, Enlong Liu, Shawn D. Pollard, Shuyuan Shi, Jongmin Lee, Kie Leong Teo, Yihong Wu, Kyung-Jin Lee, Hyunsoo Yang

Journal: Science

Vol .: 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1125-1128
DOI: 10.1126 / science.aav8076

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