Japanese researchers have made the world’s best-performing pure spin current source made of bismuth–antimony (BiSb) alloys, which they report as the best candidate for the first industrial application of topological insulators. This is a big step forward towards spin-orbit torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (SOT-MRAM) devices with the potential to replace existing memory technologies.
This could accelerate the development of high-density, ultra-low power, and ultra-fast non-volatile memories for Internet of Things (IoT) and other applications now becoming increasingly in demand for industrial and home use.
The BiSb thin films have high conductivity and a large hall effect at room temperature. BiSb-based SOT-MRAM should outperform the existing spin-transfer torque (STT) MRAM technology.
SOT-MRAM can be switched one order of magnitude faster than STT-MRAM, the switching energy can be reduced by at least two orders of magnitude. The writing speed could be increased 20 times and the bit density increased by a factor of ten.
If scaled up successfully, BiSb-based SOT-MRAM could drastically improve upon its heavy metal-based counterparts and even become competitive with dynamic random access memory (DRAM).
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