skip to main content


Title: Magnetic domain wall neuron with intrinsic leaking and lateral inhibition capability
The challenge of developing an efficient artificial neuron is impeded by the use of external CMOS circuits to perform leaking and lateral inhibition. The proposed leaky integrate-and-fire neuron based on the three terminal magnetic tunnel junction (3T-MTJ) performs integration by pushing its domain wall (DW) with spin-transfer or spin-orbit torque. The leaking capability is achieved by pushing the neurons’ DWs in the direction opposite of integration using a stray field from a hard ferromagnet or a non-uniform energy landscape resulting from shape or anisotropy variation. Firing is performed by the MTJ stack. Finally, analog lateral inhibition is achieved by dipolar field repulsive coupling from each neuron. An integrating neuron thus pushes slower neighboring neurons’ DWs in the direction opposite of integration. Applying this lateral inhibition to a ten-neuron output layer within a neuromorphic crossbar structure enables the identification of handwritten digits with 94% accuracy.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1910800
NSF-PAR ID:
10145313
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
SPIE Spintronics XII
Volume:
11090
Page Range / eLocation ID:
110903K
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Drouhin, Henri-Jean M. ; Wegrowe, Jean-Eric ; Razeghi, Manijeh (Ed.)
    Neuromorphic computing captures the quintessential neural behaviors of the brain and is a promising candidate for the beyond-von Neumann computer architectures, featuring low power consumption and high parallelism. The neuronal lateral inhibition feature, closely associated with the biological receptive eld, is crucial to neuronal competition in the nervous system as well as its neuromorphic hardware counterpart. The domain wall - magnetic tunnel junction (DW-MTJ) neuron is an emerging spintronic arti cial neuron device exhibiting intrinsic lateral inhibition. This work discusses lateral inhibition mechanism of the DW-MTJ neuron and shows by micromagnetic simulation that lateral inhibition is eciently enhanced by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI). 
    more » « less
  2. Neuromorphic computing is a promising candidate for beyond-von Neumann computer architectures, featuring low power consumption and high parallelism. Lateral inhibition and winner-take-all (WTA) features play a crucial role in neuronal competition of the nervous system as well as neuromorphic hardwares. The domain wall - magnetic tunnel junction (DWMTJ) neuron is an emerging spintronic artificial neuron device exhibiting intrinsic lateral inhibition. In this paper we show that lateral inhibition parameters modulate the neuron firing statistics in a DW-MTJ neuron array, thus emulating soft-winner-take-all (WTA) and firing group selection. 
    more » « less
  3. Due to their non-volatility and intrinsic current integration capabilities, spintronic devices that rely on domain wall (DW) motion through a free ferromagnetic track have garnered significant interest in the field of neuromorphic computing. Although a number of such devices have already been proposed, they require the use of external circuitry to implement several important neuronal behaviors. As such, they are likely to result in either a decrease in energy efficiency, an increase in fabrication complexity, or even both. To resolve this issue, we have proposed three individual neurons that are capable of performing these functionalities without the use of any external circuitry. To implement leaking, the first neuron uses a dipolar coupling field, the second uses an anisotropy gradient, and the third uses shape variations of the DW track. 
    more » « less
  4. Spin currents are used to write information in magnetic random access memory (MRAM) devices by switching the magnetization direction of one of the ferromagnetic electrodes of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) nanopillar. Different physical mechanisms of conversion of charge current to spin current can be used in two-terminal and three-terminal device geometries. In two-terminal devices, charge-to-spin conversion occurs by spin filtering in the MTJ's ferromagnetic electrodes and present day MRAM devices operate near the theoretically expected maximum charge-to-spin conversion efficiency. In three-terminal devices, spin–orbit interactions in a channel material can also be used to generate large spin currents. In this Perspective article, we discuss charge-to-spin conversion processes that can satisfy the requirements of MRAM technology. We emphasize the need to develop channel materials with larger charge-to-spin conversion efficiency—that can equal or exceed that produced by spin filtering—and spin currents with a spin polarization component perpendicular to the channel interface. This would enable high-performance devices based on sub-20 nm diameter perpendicularly magnetized MTJ nanopillars without need of a symmetry breaking field. We also discuss MRAM characteristics essential for CMOS integration. Finally, we identify critical research needs for charge-to-spin conversion measurements and metrics that can be used to optimize device channel materials and interface properties prior to full MTJ nanopillar device fabrication and characterization. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Giant spin-orbit torque (SOT) from topological insulators (TIs) provides an energy efficient writing method for magnetic memory, which, however, is still premature for practical applications due to the challenge of the integration with magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). Here, we demonstrate a functional TI-MTJ device that could become the core element of the future energy-efficient spintronic devices, such as SOT-based magnetic random-access memory (SOT-MRAM). The state-of-the-art tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio of 102% and the ultralow switching current density of 1.2 × 105 A cm−2have been simultaneously achieved in the TI-MTJ device at room temperature, laying down the foundation for TI-driven SOT-MRAM. The charge-spin conversion efficiencyθSHin TIs is quantified by both the SOT-induced shift of the magnetic switching field (θSH = 1.59) and the SOT-induced ferromagnetic resonance (ST-FMR) (θSH = 1.02), which is one order of magnitude larger than that in conventional heavy metals. These results inspire a revolution of SOT-MRAM from classical to quantum materials, with great potential to further reduce the energy consumption.

     
    more » « less