Abstract

Since the early 1980s, most electronics have relied on the use of complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) transistors. However, the principles of CMOS operation, involving a switchable semiconductor conductance controlled by an insulating gate, have remained largely unchanged, even as transistors are miniaturized to sizes of 10 nanometres. We investigated what dimensionally scalable logic technology beyond CMOS could provide improvements in efficiency and performance for von Neumann architectures and enable growth in emerging computing such as artifical intelligence. Such a computing technology needs to allow progressive miniaturization, reduce switching energy, improve device interconnection and provide a complete logic and memory family. Here we propose a scalable spintronic logic device that operates via spin–orbit transduction (the coupling of an electron’s angular momentum with its linear momentum) combined with magnetoelectric switching. The device uses advanced quantum materials, especially correlated oxides and topological states of matter, for collective switching and detection. We describe progress in magnetoelectric switching and spin–orbit detection of state, and show that in comparison with CMOS technology our device has superior switching energy (by a factor of 10 to 30), lower switching voltage (by a factor of 5) and enhanced logic density (by a factor of 5). In addition, its non-volatility enables ultralow standby power, which is critical to modern computing. The properties of our device indicate that the proposed technology could enable the development of multi-generational computing.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to A. Fert and J.-P. Wang for discussions. We acknowledge F. Rana, D. Schlom and F. Casanova for insights shared with us. We also acknowledge the support of K. Oguz and B. Buford of Intel Corporation for discussions on device integration and metrology. R.R. acknowledges the long-term support of the Quantum Materials programme funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, which laid the foundation for the key elements of the work reported in this paper. B.P., Y.-L.H. and R.R. acknowledge support from Semiconductor Research Corporation within the JUMP program.

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Nature thanks V. Bertacco, Y. Otani and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Affiliations

  1. Components Research, Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, OR, USA

    • Sasikanth Manipatruni
    • , Dmitri E. Nikonov
    • , Chia-Ching Lin
    • , Tanay A. Gosavi
    •  & Ian A. Young
  2. Intel Labs, Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA, USA

    • Huichu Liu
  3. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Bhagwati Prasad
    • , Yen-Lin Huang
    • , Everton Bonturim
    •  & Ramamoorthy Ramesh
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Yen-Lin Huang
    •  & Ramamoorthy Ramesh
  5. Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Ramamoorthy Ramesh

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Contributions

S.M. identified the use of the inverse spin–orbit effect for electrically transduced spin-logic devices. S.M., D.E.N. and I.A.Y. developed the logic circuits. S.M. developed the scaling laws, physical macro models and interconnect estimates. H.L. developed circuit design techniques and performed the logic-circuit simulations with the physical macro models. S.M. and R.R. developed the material scaling options and coordinated the material growth. S.M. conceptualized the test devices and designed the experiments and measurements for the magnetoelectric and spin–orbit devices. D.E.N. benchmarked the performance of the circuits. C.-C.L., B.P. and T.G. performed the layout of the test devices, processed the devices and identified processing methods for sub-micron-sized magnetoelectric and spin–orbit devices. S.M. and E.B. measured the magnetoelectric devices. S.M. and T.G. measured the spin–orbit devices. B.P., Y.-L.H. and E.B. deposited the samples and performed material characterization under the supervision of R.R. S.M. wrote the manuscript and D.E.N., I.A.Y. and R.R. edited the manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript and interpreted the data.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sasikanth Manipatruni.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    This file contains a Supplementary Guide and Supplementary Text sections A to Q, which includes Supplementary Figs. 1 to 24 and Supplementary Tables 1 to 4.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0770-2

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