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Creators/Authors contains: "Incorvia, Jean Anne"

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  1. Abstract

    Perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (pMTJ)-based true-random number generators (RNG) can consume orders of magnitude less energy per bit than CMOS pseudo-RNG. Here, we numerically investigate with a macrospin Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation solver the use of pMTJs driven by spin-orbit torque to directly sample numbers from arbitrary probability distributions with the help of a tunable probability tree. The tree operates by dynamically biasing sequences of pMTJ relaxation events, called ‘coinflips’, via an additional applied spin-transfer-torque current. Specifically, using a single, ideal pMTJ device we successfully draw integer samples on the interval [0,255] from an exponential distribution based on p-value distribution analysis. In order to investigate device-to-device variations, the thermal stability of the pMTJs are varied based on manufactured device data. It is found that while repeatedly using a varied device inhibits ability to recover the probability distribution, the device variations average out when considering the entire set of devices as a ‘bucket’ to agnostically draw random numbers from. Further, it is noted that the device variations most significantly impact the highest level of the probability tree, with diminishing errors at lower levels. The devices are then used to draw both uniformly and exponentially distributed numbers for the Monte Carlo computation of a problem from particle transport, showing excellent data fit with the analytical solution. Finally, the devices are benchmarked against CMOS and memristor RNG, showing faster bit generation and significantly lower energy usage.

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  2. The spatiotemporal nature of neuronal behavior in spiking neural networks (SNNs) makes SNNs promising for edge applications that require high energy efficiency. To realize SNNs in hardware, spintronic neuron implementations can bring advantages of scalability and energy efficiency. Domain wall (DW)-based magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) devices are well suited for probabilistic neural networks given their intrinsic integrate-and-fire behavior with tunable stochasticity. Here, we present a scaled DW-MTJ neuron with voltage-dependent firing probability. The measured behavior was used to simulate a SNN that attains accuracy during learning compared to an equivalent, but more complicated, multi-weight DW-MTJ device. The validation accuracy during training was also shown to be comparable to an ideal leaky integrate and fire device. However, during inference, the binary DW-MTJ neuron outperformed the other devices after Gaussian noise was introduced to the Fashion-MNIST classification task. This work shows that DW-MTJ devices can be used to construct noise-resilient networks suitable for neuromorphic computing on the edge. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 26, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. Ambipolar dual-gate transistors based on low-dimensional materials, such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, black phosphorus, and certain transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), enable reconfigurable logic circuits with a suppressed off-state current. These circuits achieve the same logical output as complementary metal–oxide semiconductor (CMOS) with fewer transistors and offer greater flexibility in design. The primary challenge lies in the cascadability and power consumption of these logic gates with static CMOS-like connections. In this article, high-performance ambipolar dual-gate transistors based on tungsten diselenide (WSe2) are fabricated. A high on–off ratio of 108 and 106, a low off-state current of 100 to 300 fA, a negligible hysteresis, and an ideal subthreshold swing of 62 and 63 mV/dec are measured in the p- and n-type transport, respectively. We demonstrate cascadable and cascaded logic gates using ambipolar TMD transistors with minimal static power consumption, including inverters, XOR, NAND, NOR, and buffers made by cascaded inverters. A thorough study of both the control gate and the polarity gate behavior is conducted. The noise margin of the logic gates is measured and analyzed. The large noise margin enables the implementation of VT-drop circuits, a type of logic with reduced transistor number and simplified circuit design. Finally, the speed performance of the VT-drop and other circuits built by dual-gate devices is qualitatively analyzed. This work makes advancements in the field of ambipolar dual-gate TMD transistors, showing their potential for low-power, high-speed, and more flexible logic circuits. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 28, 2024
  5. Abstract

    In the ‘Beyond Moore’s Law’ era, with increasing edge intelligence, domain-specific computing embracing unconventional approaches will become increasingly prevalent. At the same time, adopting a variety of nanotechnologies will offer benefits in energy cost, computational speed, reduced footprint, cyber resilience, and processing power. The time is ripe for a roadmap for unconventional computing with nanotechnologies to guide future research, and this collection aims to fill that need. The authors provide a comprehensive roadmap for neuromorphic computing using electron spins, memristive devices, two-dimensional nanomaterials, nanomagnets, and various dynamical systems. They also address other paradigms such as Ising machines, Bayesian inference engines, probabilistic computing with p-bits, processing in memory, quantum memories and algorithms, computing with skyrmions and spin waves, and brain-inspired computing for incremental learning and problem-solving in severely resource-constrained environments. These approaches have advantages over traditional Boolean computing based on von Neumann architecture. As the computational requirements for artificial intelligence grow 50 times faster than Moore’s Law for electronics, more unconventional approaches to computing and signal processing will appear on the horizon, and this roadmap will help identify future needs and challenges. In a very fertile field, experts in the field aim to present some of the dominant and most promising technologies for unconventional computing that will be around for some time to come. Within a holistic approach, the goal is to provide pathways for solidifying the field and guiding future impactful discoveries.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 28, 2025
  6. The exceptional capabilities of the human brain provide inspiration for artificially intelligent hardware that mimics both the function and the structure of neurobiology. In particular, the recent development of nanodevices with biomimetic characteristics promises to enable the development of neuromorphic architectures with exceptional computational efficiency. In this work, we propose biomimetic neurons comprised of domain wall-magnetic tunnel junctions that can be integrated into the first trainable CMOS-free recurrent neural network with biomimetic components. This paper demonstrates the computational effectiveness of this system for benchmark tasks and its superior computational efficiency relative to alternative approaches for recurrent neural networks. 
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  7. Abstract

    Neuromorphic computing mimics the organizational principles of the brain in its quest to replicate the brain’s intellectual abilities. An impressive ability of the brain is its adaptive intelligence, which allows the brain to regulate its functions “on the fly” to cope with myriad and ever-changing situations. In particular, the brain displays three adaptive and advanced intelligence abilities of context-awareness, cross frequency coupling, and feature binding. To mimic these adaptive cognitive abilities, we design and simulate a novel, hardware-based adaptive oscillatory neuron using a lattice of magnetic skyrmions. Charge current fed to the neuron reconfigures the skyrmion lattice, thereby modulating the neuron’s state, its dynamics and its transfer function “on the fly.” This adaptive neuron is used to demonstrate the three cognitive abilities, of which context-awareness and cross-frequency coupling have not been previously realized in hardware neurons. Additionally, the neuron is used to construct an adaptive artificial neural network (ANN) and perform context-aware diagnosis of breast cancer. Simulations show that the adaptive ANN diagnoses cancer with higher accuracy while learning faster and using a more compact and energy-efficient network than a nonadaptive ANN. The work further describes how hardware-based adaptive neurons can mitigate several critical challenges facing contemporary ANNs. Modern ANNs require large amounts of training data, energy, and chip area, and are highly task-specific; conversely, hardware-based ANNs built with adaptive neurons show faster learning, compact architectures, energy-efficiency, fault-tolerance, and can lead to the realization of broader artificial intelligence.

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