To formalise the effort, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center and Stanford today announced the formation of the IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center, or SpinAps.
SpinAps researchers will work to create breakthroughs that could revolutionise the electronics industry, just as the transistor did 50 years ago, said Robert Morris, IBM v-p and director of the Almaden Research Center.
As IBM explains it, electron spin is a quantum property that has two possible states, either up or down. Aligning spins in a material creates magnetism, and magnetic fields affect the passage of up and down electrons differently, IBM said.
IBM’s Almaden lab came out with the first mass-produced spintronic device in 1997, the giant magnetoresistive head. Another multilayered spintronic structure is at the heart of the high-speed, nonvolatile magnetic random access memory (MRAM), currently being developed by a handful of companies.
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