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Design007-Dec2019

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DECEMBER 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 87 age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge, and the higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more expansive." Enjoy your climb. FLEX007 Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an interna- tional authority and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. MIT researchers have devised a novel circuit design that enables precise control of computing with magnet- ic waves with no electricity needed. The advance takes a step toward practical magnetic-based devices, which have the potential to compute far more efficiently than electronics. Classical computers rely on massive amounts of elec- tricity for computing and data storage and generate a lot of wasted heat. In search of more efficient alternatives, researchers have started designing magnetic-based "spintronic" devices, which use relatively little electricity and generate practically no heat. Spintronic devices leverage the "spin wave"—a quan- tum property of electrons—in magnetic materials with a lattice structure. This approach involves modulating the spin wave properties to produce some measurable output that can be correlated to computation. Spin waves are ripples of energy with small wave- lengths. Chunks of the spin wave, which are essentially the collective spin of many electrons, are called magnons. While magnons are not true particles, like individual elec- trons, they can be measured similarly for computing ap- plications. By controlling the spin wave, they found they could control the position of the domain wall. This relies on a phenomenon called, "spin-transfer torque," which is when spinning electrons essentially jolt a magnetic ma- terial to flip its magnetic orientation. In the researchers' work, they boosted the power of injected spin waves to induce a certain spin of the magnons. This actual- ly draws the wall toward the boosted wave source. In doing so, the wall gets jammed under the antenna, effectively making it unable to modulate waves and ensuring uniform magnetization in this state. Such innovations could enable prac- tical wave-based computing for spe- cific tasks, such as the signal-process- ing technique, called fast Fourier trans- form. Next, the researchers hope to build a working wave circuit that can execute basic computations. (Source: MIT) MIT: Toward More Efficient Computing, With Magnetic Waves Given global society's increasing reliance and dependence on electronics for getting through the day, we are all, by extension, reli- ant on PCB technology. Therefore, it is impera- tive that we not lose sight of the important role printed circuit technology continues to play in our lives. It is also important to keep pace with the advances of semiconductor technology to provide and ensure complete and uninterrupt- ed reliability of the electronics we all increas- ingly depend on. In closing, I'd like to share another short sto- ry. It comes from an interview given by famed Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, which I first encountered some 30 years ago: "Old

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