Espace Presse – What is spintronics and what are the problems?

Spintronics, what is it?

Electrons Negatively charged primary particles. These are part of the building block of atoms and create electric current when they move. It is these negative charges that manipulate conventional microelectronic devices, such as transistors. Electrons have another interesting feature, which is called

Spin It’s one Quantum greatness Which has no classical equivalent but is comparable to a
The internal magnetic moment of the particle, Like an electron is a tiny magnet that revolves around itself. Just as a magnet has a north pole and a south pole, so a spin has one
Adaptation 6, upwards (upwards) or downwards (downwards).

The whole industry of spintronics therefore has to take advantage of this degree of freedom
New facts And want to get used to them Performance improved Electronic components and data storage. By manipulating the spin of electrons instead of their charge, spintronics also propagate a Very low power electronics.

The first step in spintronics and the first research was done at CEA

SpintronicsOr Spin Electronics, emerged in the 1980s. It was born at CEA in 1991, Three years after the discovery of Albert Fart and Peter The phenomenon known as the Grunberg “Giant Magnetoresistence” won them the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics. Principle: The difference between the electrical resistance of a material consisting of continuous magnetic (iron, cobalt, nickel, etc.) and non-magnetic (iron, cobalt, nickel, etc.). Chromium, copper, silver …) It is subject to an external magnetic field.

Experimental and theoretical research then began at CEA to use it on a variety of devices. Since 1998, it has been integrated into the read heads of computer hard disks.


Spintech, Laboratory of Excellence

Created in 2002 by Grenoble CEA and CNRS, with twelve researchers, the Spintech Laboratory has significantly contributed to the emergence of MRAM memory. In 20 years, he has filed more than 80 patents and closed four start-ups, three of which are still active: Crocus Technology, HProb and Antios. Spintech now has over a hundred members.

Use of spintronics in MRAM memory

The use of spintronics has been particularly illustrated
Non-volatile magnetic memory (MRAM)Where it is widely used today.

Magnetic random access memory is a non-volatile memory (holding data without a power supply) that uses the spin of electrons. These memories contain various techniques for writing information, including the study of “spin transfer couples”.
Spintech Laboratory Presented on our computer since 2004 and today.

© Challenges of CEA / J. Perrodeau

Download infographic in MRAM memory, taken from Défis du CEA n ° 249

Advantages of Spintronics for MRAM

  • Instability: The data is stored in the form of a magnetic orientation, the level of the tunnel junction which is in the absence of electrical energy;
  • Writing speed: Up to 0.3 nanoseconds, i.e. from 1,000

    100,000 times faster than flash memory;
  • Tolerance of writing: Ferromagnetic elements allow more read-through cycles than memories involving atomic displacement (phase change material or resistant oxide);
  • Low voltage is used: Which makes it possible to be 400 times more energy efficient than flash memory when writing.

Other applications of Spintronics

Other digital devices use spintronics: magnetic field sensors, widely used in the automotive, robotics, biotechnology and biomedical sectors. The research will eventually benefit other fields
Such as in-memory computing, cyber security, telecommunications, data centers and artificial intelligence.
This discipline, which has become essential, is part of the acceleration strategy of the France 2030 recovery plan.

Leave a Comment