Eurekalert – Northwestern University researchers are making progress to an entirely new logic circuit family based on magnetic semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to logic circuits up to 1 million times more power-efficient than today’s.
Unlike traditional integrated circuits, which consist of a collection of miniature transistors operating on a single piece of semiconductor, the so-called “spin logic circuits” utilize the quantum physics phenomenon of spin, a fundamental property of the electron.
“What we’ve developed is a device that can be configured in a logic circuit that is capable of performing all the necessary Boolean logic and can be cascaded to develop sophisticated function units,” said Bruce W. Wessels, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and one of the paper’s authors. “We are using ‘spintronic’ logic devices to successfully perform the same operations as a conventional CMOS circuits but with fewer devices and more computing power.”
The spin-logic circuits are created with magnetoresistive bipolar spin-transistors, recently patented by the researchers.
A paper describing the findings, “Emitter-Coupled Spin-Transistor Logic,” was presented July 5 at the International Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures held in the Netherlands.