Published on 7 May 2015

the new generation magnetic memories will soon be true synapses

How to design a faster computer memory with less energy? Researchers of Institut d'électronique fondamentale (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud) and of CEA-List  have deciphered the physical mechanisms involved in magnetic computer memory of new generation and showed that such mechanisms could be used as "synapses " of a new type of system, neuro-inspired, able to learn how to store and retrieve information. 

We use more and more USB sticks and other external drives that are not energized. These are non-volatile memories much slower than fueled memories. The magnetic memory (ST-MRAM) seem to be a solution, it combines processing speed and energy independence (data stored as a magnetic orientation). But programming these magnetic junctions is delicate and needs energy. A solution begins to take shape using these junctions as synapses (communication channel between two neurons of the brain) that consume very little energy and process a lot of data.

Read in french the CEA press release.

Spin-Transfer Torque Magnetic Memory as a Stochastic Memristive Synapse for Neuromorphic Systems, Adrien F. Vincent, Jérôme Larroque, Nicolas Locatelli, Nesrine Ben Romdhane, Olivier Bichler, Christian Gamrat, WeiSheng Zhao, Jacques-Olivier Klein, Sylvie Galdin-Retailleau et Damien Querlioz, IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, 15 avril 2015