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Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 10;7(1):15358. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14783-1.

An electrically reconfigurable logic gate intrinsically enabled by spin-orbit materials.

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.


The spin degree of freedom in magnetic devices has been discussed widely for computing, since it could significantly reduce energy dissipation, might enable beyond Von Neumann computing, and could have applications in quantum computing. For spin-based computing to become widespread, however, energy efficient logic gates comprising as few devices as possible are required. Considerable recent progress has been reported in this area. However, proposals for spin-based logic either require ancillary charge-based devices and circuits in each individual gate or adopt principals underlying charge-based computing by employing ancillary spin-based devices, which largely negates possible advantages. Here, we show that spin-orbit materials possess an intrinsic basis for the execution of logic operations. We present a spin-orbit logic gate that performs a universal logic operation utilizing the minimum possible number of devices, that is, the essential devices required for representing the logic operands. Also, whereas the previous proposals for spin-based logic require extra devices in each individual gate to provide reconfigurability, the proposed gate is 'electrically' reconfigurable at run-time simply by setting the amplitude of the clock pulse applied to the gate. We demonstrate, analytically and numerically with experimentally benchmarked models, that the gate performs logic operations and simultaneously stores the result, realizing the 'stateful' spin-based logic scalable to ultralow energy dissipation.

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