The SWAN-on-chip project presents the Spintronics Wireless Autonomous Node (SWAN) paradigm as a test case for the Spintronics Technology Accelerator framework, to establish a European-level community capable of advancing the technology readiness level of selected “spin-chips” via co-integration with tailored CMOS circuits. These spin-chips include:
- Spin Sensor – Magnetic tunnel junctions devices have been shown to make state of the art high precision magnetic field sensors and can be implemented in a variety of different real world scenarios, ranging from automotive, energy metering, predictive maintenance etc.
- Spin Charger – Using the broadband rf to dc rectification effect observed in magnetic tunnel junctions, individual devices can convert radio frequency signals to allow for energy scavenging or wireless charging possibilities
- Spin Wake-up – By utilizing the resonant magnetization dynamics in magnetic tunnel junctions, a narrow band active detector can be achieved, without additional filtering, which is capable of efficient detection of low power rf signals.
- Spin Communication – Antiferromagnetic materials have been shown to have dynamic modes operating in the THz frequencies, making them exciting materials for exploration in the context of 6G wireless communication. The key challenge is to have an efficient read-out mechanism, by integrating Antiferromagnetic materials in to magnetic tunnel junctions.
NIMFEIA proposes the new paradigm of reciprocal space computing to provide a progressive hardware solution for brain-inspired computing. Harnessing nonlinear interactions of quantized magnetic excitations in individual spatially confined magnetic devices, reservoir computing tasks like pattern recognition can be performed with minimal pre-processing of input data and without the data’s lossy transport in real space. NIMFEIA is based on four core objectives:
- Demonstrate the principles of reservoir computing using magnons in the gigahertz regime by quantifying and designing nonlinear interactions in reciprocal space.
- Develop an experimental and scalable proof-of-concept device using industrially compatible processes.
- Demonstrate the utility of the magnon reservoir on a selected pervasive real-world use case.
- Explore scaling of the magnon reservoir to the terahertz regime using synthetic and pure antiferromagnetic materials.
One year into the project, the NIMFEIA partners experimentally demonstrated the proof of concept of the magnon reservoir by distinguishing the temporal order of gigahertz-microwave pulses with different frequencies.
The MANNGA project (which stands for Magnonic Artificial Neural Networks and Gate Arrays) seeks to explore and challenge the limits of spin-based devices in terms of their energy efficiency. This will be achieved by combining two inherently energy-efficient technology paradigms: (i) magnonics and (ii) neuromorphic computing. Specifically, we will use nanoscale chiral magnonic resonators (magnetic elements formed atop magnonic media – thin films of yttrium-iron garnet, YIG) as magnonic neurons. The project has already succeeded in experimental realization of its first chiral magnonic resonators and in development of a comprehensive theoretical framework for their modelling. For example, subwavelength magnonic phase-shifters and spin-wave valves have been demonstrated, both experimentally and theoretically. Currently, we are working to combine multiple chiral magnonic resonators into functional devices and testing their performance. The main challenge is to narrow down the search to those designs that would show the best characteristics in terms of their key performance indicators.
The “Magnonics meets micro-electro-mechanical systems: a new paradigm for communication technology and radio-frequency signal processing” project (M&MEMS) aims at combining the tunability of magnonic systems with the power efficiency and the agility of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). From the scientific side, the main goal of M&MEMS is to replace the power-hungry electric currents as sources for static and dynamic magnetic fields. This is achieved by combining magnonic and MEMS devices on the same chip (monolithic approach) or in close proximity (flip-chip approach). These hybrid systems will enable a new generation of devices for radio-frequency (RF) communication and microwave signal processing.
Sketch of a tunable spin-wave delay line with a permanent magnet moved by MEMS in a flip-chip configuration.
The consortium brings together 7 EU research groups and 2 industrial partners with a broad range of expertise in the fields of magnonics, MEMS, material science and RF electronics. Two analog RF electronic functions have been identified by the end-users: an agile-filter with potential application in the field of 5G communication and beyond (NOKIA) and programmable phase shifter array and time delay units, the building block of novel directional antennas (Thales). Within the first year, the consortium has realized the first on-chip permanent magnets integrated into magnetic components, prototypes of spin-wave delay lines with insertion losses below -10 dB as well as micromagnetic and lumped-element models to describe and optimize these components.
SPIDER targets a first benchmark of spin-wave computing at the system level. Spin wave computing is a disruptive spintronic technology that uses the interference of spin waves for computation and has considerable potential for power and area reduction per computing throughput, but despite much recent progress in the realization of spin wave logic gates, no concept for a complete computing system exists today that is based only on spin waves. Thus, to advance from devices to systems, spin wave devices need to be complemented by CMOS in a hybrid spin wave–CMOS system. Using an interdisciplinary approach joining partners with expertise in materials science, physics, device manufacturing, electrical engineering, circuit design, and packaging, SPIDER targets the demonstration of a complete operational hybrid spin wave–CMOS computing system. SPIDER will design mixed signal CMOS chips that can drive spin wave circuits and read out computation results. The spin wave and CMOS chips will then be combined on an interposer to obtain the final hybrid system.