Low power nanomagnet storage and computing

Reference number 11073

Sectors: ICT/Digital

Industries: Computing

A new method to change the state of individual magnetic nanoparticles within a dense array using a low cost, low-power laser for data storage technology and potential application in neuromorphic ‘in-memory’ computing.

Proposed use

The technological benefits of optically-switched magnetism are enormous and achieving it has long been a goal of both industry and academia.

This technology allows low power, high density magnetic data storage in bit patterned media. A key future application could be in next-generation neuromorphic computation hardware as this technology is very suited to new technologies where multiple storage and/or logic functions are co-located e.g. ‘universal memory’, ‘memcomputing’, ‘hardware neural networks’.

Problem addressed

Computation is forecasted to reach 30% of global energy production by 2030. However, systems using nanomagnetics could be 100,000 times more energy efficient than standard electronics as information is transferred as a wave, reducing global energy need.

Established nanomagnetic technologies require ultrafast and intense pulses of light from expensive high-power lasers or otherwise are dependent on circular optical polarisation or a magnetic field. This technology uses extremely low power continuous wave lasers with linear polarization in the absence of a magnetic field.
This technique only uses aluminium, nickel and iron compared to rare and expensive elements used in existing techniques.

Technology overview

This invention is a new method to change the state of a magnetic particle within a dense nanomagnet array using continuous wave light from an extremely cheap low powered laser.
Hybrid magnetoplasmonic structures were developed combining a switchable magnetic bit with a light-focusing plasmonic antenna. Deterministic switching was demonstrated in high-density, strongly-interacting arrays including writing exotic high-energy states.

Benefits

  • All optical magnetic switching with extremely cheap low power lasers in the absence of a magnetic field.
  • Low power, high density data storage well suited to hardware neural networks.
  • Potential application in next-generation neuromorphic computation hardware
  • Magnetic computing is theoretically 100,000 times more energy efficient data storage compared to standard electronics.
  • Low cost materials such as aluminium, nickel and iron compared to existing techniques
  • Continuous wave laser uses linear polarization and so is not dependent on circular optical polarization.

Intellectual property information

UK Priority Application (Number: 2117279.6)



Contact

Fabian Lim

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Senior Executive, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Fabian is Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Senior Executive for the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London

Contact Fabian

f.lim@imperial.ac.uk

Mei Chong

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer, Natural Sciences

Dr Mei Chong is Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer for the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London.

Contact Mei

+44 (0)20 7594 9927

m.chong@imperial.ac.uk

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