Jul 26 (Tue) @ 12:00pm: "Spintronics: state-of-the art and future!," Giovanni Finocchio, Assoc. Prof., Math & CS, U. of Messina

Date and Time
4164 Harold Frank Hall (ECE Conf. Rm.)


The spintronic technology takes advantage of the manipulation of the electron spin together with its charge. This technology potentially combines important characteristics such as ultralow power needs, compactness (nanoscale size) and it is CMOS-compatible. Spintronics has different success stories such as the head read for magnetic hard drive and the recent spin-transfer-torque magnetic random access memories. The latter are realized with magnetic tunnel junctions which are devices composed by two ferromagnets separated by a ultrathin isolating material. The resistance of this device depends on the relative orientation of the magnetization of the two ferromagnets and in particular the configuration where the magnetization are parallel or antiparallel can code the binary information. Together with memory developments, which are already in the market and integrated within the CMOS processes by main foundries (INTEL, SAMSUNG, GlobalFoundries), magnetic tunnel junction can be used for the development of auto-oscillators and very high efficient detectors. 

In this talk, I will present recent breakthroughs in the field and future directions. I will discuss the key ingredients of high-performance spintronic devices focusing on their possible use in “Internet of Things” nodes (e.g. energy harvesting, physical unclonable functions, GHz and THz oscillators and detectors). 

Finally, I will present current exciting research directions including skyrmionics, skyrmion-caloritronics, antiferromagnetic spontronics, neuromorphic computing, and unconventional computing approaches. In the former topic, I will show how spintronic diodes can be used to perform analog multiplication and how magnetic tunnel junctions can be used for the realization of activation function of neurons. The latter will focus on probabilistic computing which is nothing than a way to implement Ising Machines, a computational paradigm using probabilistic bits (p-bits), unit in the middle between standard bit and q-bits. I will show how to map hard combinatorial optimization problems (Max-Sat, Max-Cut, etc) into Ising machine and how to implement those in spintronic technology.


Giovanni Finocchio received the Ph.D. degree in advanced technologies in optoelectronic, photonic and micromagnetic modeling from the University of Messina, Italy, in 2006. Since 2010, he has been an Assistant Professor first and Associate professor now with the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences at the University of Messina. He is director of the laboratory PETASPIN (Petascale computing and Spintronics) at Messina. His research interests include spintronics, skyrmions, and computing (https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=eKDbn-oAAAAJ&hl=en). In the last 10 years, he served on many technical program committees of international conferences and organized more than 10 international conferences and workshops as Chair, Program Committee Member, or in other positions. He is regularly invited at conferences in Magnetism and Spintronics. He is also president of Petaspin association (www.petaspin.com), chair of the IEEE Magnetics Italy chapter, AdCOM member of the IEEE Magnetics society and chair of the TC-16 on Quantum, neuromorphic and unconventional computing of the IEEE Nanotechnology council. Since 2022, he is also associate editor of Physical Review Applied (APS).

Hosted by: Professor Kerem Camsari

Submitted by: Kerem Camsari <camsari@ucsb.edu>