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Spintronics Consortium to develop next generation technologies for data storage and logic applications

NTU jointly establishes Spintronics Consortium to develop next generation technologies for data storage and logic applications
Currently, several projects by NUS and NTU in collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES have been identified under SG-SPIN in four areas of future
electronics among which
– Spin-orbit engineering for energy-efficient memory and logic devices. The success of this project will provide balanced solutions in energy efficiency without sacrificing performance for future electronic gadgets, which is crucial as we migrate into the era of the Internet of Things.

Singapoore_consortium_2014
Technological survey

A research consortium has been set up in Singapore, encouraging researchers to explore innovative electron spin-based technologies for sensor, memory and logic applications. Called the Singapore Spintronics Consortium (SG-SPIN), it will facilitate collaborative research partnerships between the institutes of higher learning and industry. In addition to facilitating open innovation amongst multiple parties, SG-SPIN aims to grow and attract more companies to conduct spintronics activities in Singapore.

The founding members of SG-SPIN are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Applied Materials, Inc., Delta Electronics and GLOBALFOUNDRIES. A Memorandum of Understanding between these five organisations was signed today, where they agreed to cooperate and collaborate in spintronics R&D activities. The NUS Industry Liaison Office, which is part of NUS Enterprise, took the lead in driving and facilitating this collaboration. SG-SPIN is led by Professor Wu Yihong from NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore and NTU’s NTUitive.

Spintronics – an emerging technology
Spintronics is an emerging technology that utilises the intrinsic spin of electrons and associated magnetic moment, in addition to their electronic charge that is exclusively used in existing electronic devices. This area of research can potentially lead to more energy-efficient, larger capacity and faster devices compared to current technology. Spintronics technology is already used in harddisk drives and magnetic field sensors. Potential new applications include nonvolatile memory, logic and biomedical devices.

“SG-SPIN is an excellent platform to galvanise spintronics research efforts in Singapore, for a more synergistic and targeted outcome. Over the past few years, NRF Singapore has supported a number of spintronics research projects, which have helped to build on the spintronics capabilities in NUS. We hope that this new consortium will help commercialise such research, so it can be translated into new applications that benefit society. The industry stands to benefit significantly from participating in SG-SPIN, as it gains access to in-depth research findings as well as new opportunities for licensing spintronics-related intellectual property. From a national point of view, Singapore will benefit from these research collaborations in spintronics, due to the training of manpower and seeding of the next phase of semi-conductor development jobs here,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.

Dr Lim Jui, CEO of NTUitive, NTU’s commercialisation arm, said that the university is excited to be part of this coordinated academic-industrial effort to translate technologies in an area in which Singapore has deep strengths.

“Spintronics is an interdisciplinary field which merges mechanical and electronic engineering with physics. In recent years, NTU has been making a global impact in engineering and physics, through our strengths in translational research and industry partnerships. By working hand in hand with our consortium partners, we aim to make a real difference to the global spintronics landscape, and in so doing, deliver economic benefit to Singapore.”

Driving the next phase of spintronics development in Singapore
The SG-SPIN will help to drive the next phase of spintronics development and related fields in Singapore. It will also help to build up networks and partnerships within the sector. Currently, several projects by NUS and NTU in collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES have been identified under SG-SPIN in four areas of future
electronics: 
– New magnetic materials and structures for sub-10nm non-volatile memories with almost infinite endurance. This project aims to increase the speed and capacity of data storage, without the loss of data over almost infinitely long periods.
– Spin-orbit engineering for energy-efficient memory and logic devices. The success of this project will provide balanced solutions in energy efficiency without sacrificing performance for future electronic gadgets, which is crucial as we migrate into the era of the Internet of Things.
– Electric field control of magnetism for ultra-low power spintronic devices. If realised, this will be a revolutionary way of switching magnetic memories
between “0” and “1” using an electric field instead of electric current, thereby significantly reducing power dissipation.
– Advanced theoretical computation for predicting new materials and structures for next-generation spintronic devices that can potentially shorten the cycle time by multiple folds during the design phase for new devices by eliminating experimental trial and errors.
Singapore has been building up its spintronics capabilities since the late 1990s. The environment here is ideal for spintronics research, due to existing strengths in data storage and the concentration of companies in the electronics sector. The NRF Singapore has supported five Competitive Research Programmes in this area, investing approximately S$39 million – four at NUS and one at NTU. These research projects cover a wide range of topics, including electric-field controlled magnetic memory, spin wave and pure spin current devices, spin-orbit and spin transfer torque devices, spin transistors and domain wall memory.
“NRF Singapore has helped, over the years, to catalyse research capabilities in spintronics in the universities and we are starting to have a good number of experts working in the area. Companies in Singapore are increasingly finding value in working with universities and vice versa. It is now an opportune time to establish the SG-SPIN as a platform to encourage greater interaction amongst academia and industry to realise innovation. I am excited that partners like Applied Materials, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Delta Electronics, NUS and NTU are cocreating the future of spintronics,” said Professor Low Teck Seng, CEO NRF Singapore.

Source: http://media.ntu.edu.sg/

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