IEEE Magnetics and Electron Devices Society Distinguished Lecture - Nanoscale magnetism: From new materials to unconventional computing architectures

10:00am - 11:30am
Room 1409 (lift 25/26), Academic Bldg.

Abstract: The emergence of magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) based on nanoscale magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) provides an unprecedented opportunity to develop unconventional computing architectures, with potential impact far beyond replacing existing semiconductor-based memory solutions. This talk will consist of two parts: First, we review the current state of development of ferromagnet-based MRAM, which uses current-induced spin-transfer torque (STT) to switch the magnetic state of nanoscale MTJs. We then discuss how emerging device concepts based on new physics and new materials may enable significant advances beyond today’s STT-MRAM. As an example of new physics, we discuss electric-field-controlled MTJs that utilize the voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) effect for switching, and present recent results on the first VCMA-MTJ devices with sub-1V write voltage. Second, we will discuss how appropriately designed MTJs can be used to fulfill unconventional roles within a computing system, notably as electrically controlled stochastic bitstream generators. We then discuss the application of such devices to artificial neural networks, solvers for difficult computational problems such as combinatorial optimization, as well as physically unclonable functions.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Prof. Pedram Khalili
Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Applied Physics at Northwestern University

Pedram Khalili is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Applied Physics at Northwestern University. He received the Ph.D. degree (cum laude) from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands, in 2008. Pedram serves as Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Nanotechnology Council in 2024, and is a Senior Member of the IEEE. He received the Northwestern University ECE department’s Best Teacher Award in 2020. He is an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Physics, and serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Physics: Photonics. He has served on the technical program committees and organizing committees of the Joint MMM/Intermag Conference, the IEEE Conference on Rebooting Computing (ICRC), the SPIE Spintronics Conference, and is a member of the Flash Memory Summit conference advisory board. He is past Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the IEEE Magnetics Society, and serves on the IEEE Task Force for Rebooting Computing

(TFRC) Executive Committee. 

Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering
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