Research in Spintronics, Spin-Caloritronics and Magnonics
D. Phil. projects
Novel Computing Paradigms
The end of Moore's Law has long been prophesied, but its effects have been subtly present for over a decade: since 2004, computer processor clock speeds have been frozen circa 4GHz, as a desperation measure to prevent heat death of the chips. As increasing functionality is packed at ever higher density into semiconductor devices, the resulting heat dissipation yields multiple issues: device unreliability; inability of battery technology to keep pace with the power demands of portable devices such as phones and tablets; and the enormous heat generation of "server farms" - performing 30 Google searches is claimed to dissipate enough heat to boil a kettle.
Alternative computing technology based on magnons (waves of propagating angular momentum that exist in ordered magnetic materials) offers an elegant and viable room temperature solution to these problems. Magnonic processors use 1/1000 of the power of their silicon counterparts, are engineerable on the nanoscale and have clock speed ceilings that are potentially in the TeraHertz. Sophisticated logic devices such as XOR gates and half adders have already been demonstrated as has a magnonic equivalent of the field effect transistor. Moreover, magnonic computing paradigms offer functionality and economy of "real estate" that is impossible with silicon, such as the ability simultaneously to perform different operations on parallel datastreams using the same hardware. Recent work by our team demonstrates magnonic ability to perform the operations of time reversal and phase conjugation with a view to combining the speed of analogue computing with the versatility of digital.The D.Phil. project here described will involve further developing this new microwave science and its integration into conventional electronic hosts.
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