Host Institution : CEA
Laboratory : SPINTEC (CNRS/CEA/UJF)
Call to project : Advanced (PE7)
Project name : HYMAGINE – Hybrid CMOS/Magnetic components and systems for energy efficient, non-volatile, reprogrammable integrated electronics.
Amount : 2,5 M€
Spin electronics merges magnetism and electronics (Nobel Prize 2007). Besides its fundamental interest, it has found applications in hard disk drives (1998) and in non-volatile standalone memories (MRAM, on market since 2006). MRAMs integrate CMOS components with magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ). The PI and his team are convinced that besides MRAMs, this hybrid CMOS/MTJ technology can yield a totally new approach in the way electronic devices are designed. Most CMOS devices such as microprocessors are based on Von Neumann architecture in which logic and memories are separate components. The unique set of characteristics combined within MTJs: cyclability, switching speed, scalability, makes it possible to conceive novel electronic systems in which logic and memory are intimately combined in non-volatile logic components (non-volatile CPU). Such systems would have outstanding advantages in terms of energy savings, logic-memory communication speed, ultrafast re-programmability, compactness, design simplicity. The objective of this project is to lay the foundation of this novel approach, which requires addressing both fundamental and more applied issues. The basic issues concern the improvement and reliability of spintronic materials, mastering the speed and coherence of magnetization switching, developing tools for the quantitative interpretation of MTJ properties and for designing hybrid CMOS/MTJ devices. The applied goals are the conception, building and testing of a few illustrative devices demonstrating the outstanding advantages of this technology. A further one is to establish an internationally recognized roadmap for this non-volatile logic. If successful, its impact on European microelectronics and magnetism industry could be huge.