The Modern computers we use often heat up, the memory encodes (stores) information by switching multiple magnetic bits within the devices. However, there may be a new way of encoding information that is more efficient. A study conducted by the researchers from NUS Electrical and Computer Engineering Institute have created a new way to encode that caused less heat. ‘Spin waves’ as they are being called by the researchers, are used to switch magnetization at room temperature for more energy-efficient spin memory.
The regular, electronic chips cause a substantial amount of ‘Joule heat’ to be produced, which results in high temperatures, due to the flow of an electric current. It is caused by rapid motion and frequent collision between the moving charges inside the devices. This causes a large amount of power dissipation in the form of heat to be discharged, while also reducing the efficiency of the chip. If this issue is now resolved, it would allow more processing speed and the ability to place a number of chips into appliances because of less heat generated.
“We always encounter such problems and inconveniences when using our phones, computers and other electronic devices. We often find that these devices are becoming ‘hot’ and ‘slow,’ moreover, we need to charge them frequently and have to bring another portable charger sometimes,” explained Professor Yang Hyunsoo, the team leader of this research.
Spin waves like all waves are propagating of disturbances but in this case, can be used for ordering of magnetic materials like memory. Yang‘s team has intelligently used ‘spin waves’ to switch magnetization.
“We know that the electrical spin torque has opened the era for spintronic device applications such as magnetic random access memories (MRAMs). We believe our report of the new magnon torque scheme for magnetization switching is a game-changing idea in spintronics. It will invigorate not only a new research area in magnonics, but also practical devices operated by magnons,” Dr. Wang stated.
The new switching scheme based on spin waves can avoid moving charges. Therefore, much less Joule heat and power dissipation would be expected for devices. The advance of spin wave based switching could open a new avenue for energy-efficient chips. The results of the study were published on November 29, 2019, in Science.
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