More efficient computing with magnetic waves

Researchers have devised a novel circuit design that enables precise control of computing with magnetic waves with no electricity needed.

Researchers have devised a novel circuit design that enables precise control of computing with magnetic waves with no electricity needed.

The advance takes a step toward practical magnetic-based devices, which have the potential to compute far more than electronics.

Classical computers rely on massive amounts of electricity for computing and data storage and generate a lot of wasted heat.

In search of more efficient alternatives, researchers have started designing magnetic-based spintronic devices, which use little electricity and generate no heat.

Spintronic devices leverage the spin-wave a quantum property of electrons in magnetic materials with a lattice structure. This approach involves modulating the spin-wave properties to produce some measurable output that can be correlated to computation.

Until now, modulating spin waves has required injected electrical currents using bulky components that can cause signal noise and negate any inherent performance gains.

In the future, pairs of spin waves could be fed into the circuit through dual channels, modulated for different properties, and combined to generate some measurable quantum interference like how photon wave interference used for quantum computing.

Researchers hypothesize that such interference-based spintronic devices, like quantum computers, could execute complex tasks that conventional computers struggle with.

By using this narrow domain wall, we can modulate the spin-wave and create these two separate states, without any real energy costs.

Spin waves are ripples of energy with small wavelengths. Chunks of the spin-wave, which are the collective spin of many electrons, called magnons.

Results indicated that, at its output state, the phase of the input wave flipped 180 degrees.

Then, the researchers discovered a mutual interaction between spin-wave and domain wall that enabled them to toggle between two states. Without the domain wall, the circuit would magnetize; with the domain wall, the circuit has a split, modulated wave.

In the researchers’ work, they boosted the power of injected spin waves to induce a certain spin of the magnons. This actually draws the wall toward the boosted wave source. In doing so, the wall gets jammed under the antenna making it unable to modulate waves and ensuring uniform magnetization in this state.

Using a special magnetic microscope, they showed that this method causes a micrometer-sized shift in the wall, which is enough to position it anywhere along the material block.

The valve (domain wall) controls how the water (spin wave) flows through the pipe (material). If we apply a strong enough spin-wave, we can move the position of domain wall except it moves upstream, not downstream.

The study was published in Mit


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