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Spintronics: From emerging materials to unconventional computing architectures

Spintronics: From emerging materials to unconventional computing architectures

Recorded Tuesday, October 31, noon-1:00pm  (CT)

Northwestern University’s Corporate Engagement team offered a webinar, led by Professor Pedram Khalili, PhD, on how magnetic materials can shape the future of computing and make AI more sustainable.

Who Should Participate   

Anyone interested in learning more about magnetic random-access memory (MRAM), MRAM’s underlying materials and development trends, the role of emerging memories in making AI more energy-efficient, and how new devices may enable solving challenging computing problems with wide-ranging applications.


The emergence of embedded magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) provides an unprecedented opportunity to develop unconventional computing architectures, which go beyond using MRAM as a mere replacement for existing memory solutions. Prof. Khalili will discuss how ferromagnet-based MRAM in current-induced spin-transfer torque (STT) switches the magnetic state and present emerging device concepts based on new physics and materials that potentially enable significant advances beyond today’s STT-MRAM, such as electric-field-controlled MRAM devices that utilize the voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) switching effect. Within the context of Prof. Khalili’s recent research, he will present results on developing the first VCMA-MRAM devices with sub-1V write voltage as an example of new materials that offer advantages such as picosecond switching, improved scalability, and immunity to external magnetic fields. Prof. Khalili will discuss how appropriately designed stochastic MRAM cells can be used to fulfill unconventional roles within a computing system, notably as electrically controlled stochastic bitstream (SBS) generators, by presenting recent results on the implementation of an SC-based artificial neural network, using a network of appropriately designed stochastic MRAM cells, to solve difficult computational problems such as integer factorization and combinatorial optimization.


Speaker Bio:

Professor Pedram Khalili headshot

Pedram Khalili-Amiri (LinkedinScholar) works on developing computing systems of the future, starting from novel nano-scale devices/materials that enable systems with unprecedented performance and energy efficiency. Much of his work involves devices that use both the spin and charge of electrons, also referred to as spintronics. Pedram has published more than 130 papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and is an inventor on 17 issued patents. He received the B.Sc. degree from Sharif University of Technology in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree (cum laude) from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands, in 2008, both in electrical engineering. Pedram received the Northwestern University ECE department's Best Teacher Award in 2020. He is an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Physics. As an IEEE Senior Member, Pedram is past Chair of the Chicago ChapterIEEE Magnetics Society, represents the IEEE Magnetics Society, and IEEE Task Force for Rebooting Computing (TFRC) Executive Committee.


This is an informational webinar with an opportunity for Q&A with the speaker at the end. Participation is encouraged.