Researchers discover that current flow in a ferromagnetic conductor can produce a magnetic-moment directed spin polarization

Researchers from NYU and IBM Research have created a spintronics device from a ferromagnetic conductor and discovered that current flow in the conductor can produce a spin polarization that is in a direction set by its magnetic moment.

This discovery means that magnetic moment direction can be set in just about any desired direction to then set the spin polarization - this is not possible using the contours of the spin Hall effect in non-magnetic heavy metals.

IBM developed a Spintronics-based non-contact position sensor

Researchers from IBM Research labs in Zurich developed a Spintronics based small-sized, low cost non-optical, non-contact position sensor. This sensor detect changes in a high-gradient magnetic field of a microscale magnetic dipole. The sensor can achieve sensitivities of up to 40 Ohm/µm, which leads to a noise floor of 0.5 pm/sqrt(Hz) over more than a megahertz bandwidth.

Magnetoresistance-based position sensors have been known for a long time, but their use in nanotechnology was limited due to a relatively low sensitivity and a large amount of hysteresis. These issues were solved by IBM by operating the spintronic sensor close to the pole of a micromagnetic dipole. This is where the magnetic field has an extremely high gradient, which increases as the dimensions of the micromagnet are scaled down.

SRC and DARPA grant $28 million to open a new Spintronics research center

The Semiconductor Research Corporation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $28 million five-year grant to open the Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces, and Novel Architectures, or C-SPIN. This is a multi-university and industry research center that aims to develop technologies for spin-based computing and memory systems. C-SPIN's research areas include perpendicular magnetic materials, spin channel materials (including topological insulators, monolayer MoS2 and graphene), spintronic interface engineering, spin devices and interconnects and spintronic circuits and architectures.

University partners include the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, MIT, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Riverside. Industry partners include IBM, Applied materials, Intel, Texas Instruments and Micron.

IBM and ETH Zurich created a persistent spin helix for 1.1 nanoseconds

IBM and ETH Zurich managed to create a persistent spin helix - that kept the spin for 1.1 nanoseconds, enough for a full-cycle in a 1 Ghz processor. This is about 30 times longer than previously achieved.

The researchers managed to sustain the spin by using a gallium arsenide based semiconductor material and a very low temperature (-232C).

IBM report advances in spin-based racetrack memory

IBM reports some advances in their racetrack memory program, and they are now able to measure the movement and processing of data as a magnetic pattern on a nanowire (which is 1,000 finer than a human hair).

Racetrack memory uses electron spin to move data on nanowires at hundreds of miles per hour - and has the potential to be very lower power with high densities.

Opening discussion at the International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference about IBM's RaceTrack memory

This year’s fifth annual International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC), October 13-16, 2008 will be the largest ever, according to Dr. Ken Gilleo, IWLPC general chair.

“Exhibitor and attendee interest has been very high, and we anticipate this year’s event will be the largest, as well as the most comprehensive, in our history,” Dr. Gilleo said. With two months to go, the 60-table exhibitor space at our Wyndham Hotel venue is nearly fully occupied.

At a special morning opening address on October 15, 2008, Dr. Stuart Parkin, a Fellow at IBM’s Almaden Research Laboratory, San Jose, California, will discuss “racetrack memory.” Dr. Parkin, a specialist in “spintronics,” will reveal how racetrack memory may lead to solid-state electronics with no moving parts, capable of holding an unparalleled amount of data.

IBM and ETH Zurich university build joint nanotech lab, with Spintronics as one of the research targets

IBM and the ETH Zürich University have agreed to jointly build a laboratory for nanotechnology research. The research activities aim at technologies for the post-CMOS era such as carbon-based materials, nano photonics, spintronics, nanowires and tribology.

The lab will have a 90$ million investment. About one third will go to purchase equipment. The work will begin in Spring 2009, and the activities will start in 2011, and planned to last at least 10 years.

Read more here (EETimes) 

IBM shows New racetrack memory technology

In two papers published in the April 11 issue of Science, IBM Fellow Stuart Parkin and colleagues at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose describe both the fundamentals of a technology dubbed "racetrack" memory as well as a milestone in that technology. This milestone could lead to electronic devices capable of storing far more data in the same amount of space than is possible today, with lightning-fast boot times, far lower cost and unprecedented stability and durability.

IBM teams with TDK to develop STT-RAM

IBM has linked with Japan's TDK to develop so-called spin torque transfer RAM (random access memory) or STT-RAM. In STT-RAM, an electric current is applied to a magnet to change the direction of the magnetic field. The direction of the magnetic field (up-and-down or left-to-right) causes a change in resistance, and the different levels of resistance register as 1s or 0s.

Under the current plan, IBM and TDK, an integral player in magnetic recording components for hard drives, will develop a 65-nanometer prototype within the next four years.