Thursday, 14 March 2019

Magnonic Devices Could Transform the Electronic Industry

Magnonic devices which are based on magnonic currents could transform the electronic industry. Magnonic currents are actually quasi-particles that are associated with waves of magnetization or spin waves. This could be present in certain magnetic materials.

The performance of electronic devices have been dependent on electrical currents. Over the years, the electronic devices have been getting smaller. There will be a time when there will be a limit on the performance of the electronic devices based on electrical currents. This is seen in electronic devices like transistors which are getting smaller and there will be a limit in its performance based on electrical currents.

This is where the magnonic devices based on magnonic currents comes in. Though the magnonic currents will be the future for the industry, the scientists have still to figure out how to control the magnonic currents. However, there has been great development in figuring out how the noise is associated with the propagation of magnon current.

Development of magnonic devices


The first step towards the development of practical magnonic devices is the study of noise associated with the propagation of magnon current. This study was undertaken by the engineers at the University of California, Riverside.

The noise or fluctuations in any flow of current will be the basis to figure out whether an electronic device is suited for any of the practical applications. It is the noise which is the contributing factor towards the performance of a device. The engineers are studying how the noisy magnons will help them to develop better devices.

Conventional electronic currents


As of now, electronics is dependent on metals or semiconducors which are conductors of electricity. When the electrons pass through these materials, scattering occurs.This results in heating, electrical resistance and energy dissipation. Due to heating, there is energy loss that takes place.

In the case of smaller devices and chips that have more transistors, the energy loss occurs rapidly due to heating. A stage is reached where the devices cannot be made any smaller.

Magnonic Devices should operate at low-power levels


There is a new type of material that has magnetic properties obtained from spin. Each unit of spin waves are known as magnons. Though magnons are not true particles like electrons, their behavior is like those of electrons and can be treated in the same way as electrons.

In an electrically insulated material, there can be a spin wave that moves through it and transmit energy, without any movement of electrons. Thus the magnons propagate without much generation of heat and in effect not much loss in energy.

The new magnonic devices can be created for information processing as well as storage and sensory applications where magnons are used instead of electrons.

A team led by Alexander Balandin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, made a chip that generates magnonic current. The spin wave or magnonic current is generated between the transmitting and receiving antennae.

The results from the experiment showed that magnons are not noisy at low-power levels, but at high power, the noise was fairly unusual. There were varying fluctuations that interfered with the performance of the device.

This shows that the magnonic devices should operate with low-power levels. The main goal to process information is to adopt low power.

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