Electronic Design

Research Agreement Puts New Spin On Electronics

The industry is getting closer to the limits of transistor technology. That's why IBM's Almaden Research Center and Stanford University have teamed up in the advanced research and creation of high-performance, low-power spintronics. This effort will take place at the IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center, or SpinAps.

Electron spin is a quantum property with two possible states, "up" or "down." Aligning spins in a material creates magnetism. Magnetic fields also affect the passage of "up" or "down" electrons differently. Understanding and controlling this property could lead to reconfigurable logic devices, room-temperature superconductors, quantum computers, and other revolutionary developments.

"The SpinAps scientists will dramatically hasten progress from theoretical concept to experimental verification and from new-device ideas to product prototypes," said James Plummer, Stanford Dean of Engineering.

IBM Fellow Stuart Parkin and Stanford professors James Harris and Shoucheng Zhang will direct the center. The staff will include a half-dozen Stanford professors, a similar number of IBM scientists, up to 10 grad students, three or more postdoctoral researchers, and two or more visiting faculty. Initial funding comes from IBM and Stanford, with additional funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

For details, go to www.IBM.com or www.stanford.edu.

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