Intel Looks beyond CMOS to the Future of Logic Devices

What’s New: Today, “Natu­re” published a rese­arch paper on the next genera­ti­on of logic devices autho­red by rese­ar­chers from Intel, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cali­for­nia, Ber­ke­ley, and the Law­rence Ber­ke­ley Natio­nal Labo­ra­to­ry. The paper descri­bes a magne­to-elec­tric spin-orbit (MESO) logic device, inven­ted by Intel. MESO devices have the poten­ti­al to lower vol­ta­ge by 5 times and ener­gy by 10–30 times when com­bi­ned with ultra­low sleep sta­te power, as com­pa­red to today’s com­ple­men­ta­ry metal-oxi­de-semi­con­duc­tors (CMOS). While Intel is pur­suing CMOS sca­ling, the com­pa­ny has been working on com­pu­ting logic opti­ons that will emer­ge in the next deca­de for the bey­ond-CMOS era, dri­ving com­pu­ting ener­gy-effi­ci­en­cy and allo­wing per­for­mance to grow across diver­se com­pu­ting archi­tec­tures

We are loo­king for revo­lu­tio­na­ry, not evo­lu­tio­na­ry, approa­ches for com­pu­ting in the bey­ond-CMOS era. MESO is built around low-vol­ta­ge inter­con­nec­ts and low-vol­ta­ge magne­to-elec­trics. It brings tog­e­ther quan­tum mate­ri­als inno­va­ti­on with com­pu­ting. We are exci­ted about the pro­gress we have made and are loo­king for­ward to future demons­tra­ti­ons of redu­cing the swit­ching vol­ta­ge even fur­ther toward its poten­ti­al.”
–Ian Young, Intel Seni­or Fel­low and direc­tor of the Explo­ra­to­ry Inte­gra­ted Cir­cuits group in the Tech­no­lo­gy and Manu­fac­tu­ring Group

Why it Mat­ters: Intel rese­ar­chers inven­ted the MESO device, with the memo­ry, inter­con­nect and logic requi­re­ments of future com­pu­ting needs in mind. The MESO device was pro­to­ty­ped at Intel using quan­tum mate­ri­als with emer­gent quan­tum beha­vi­ors at room tem­pe­ra­tu­re, with magne­to-elec­tric mate­ri­als deve­lo­ped by Rama­moor­thy Ramesh at UC Ber­ke­ley and the Law­rence Ber­ke­ley Natio­nal Labo­ra­to­ry. MESO also uti­li­zes spin-orbit trans­duc­tion effec­ts descri­bed by Albert Fert at Unité Mix­te de Phy­si­que CNRS/Thales.

MESO is a device built with room tem­pe­ra­tu­re quan­tum mate­ri­als,” said Sas­ik­anth Mani­pa­truni, seni­or staff sci­en­tist and direc­tor of Intel Sci­ence and Tech­no­lo­gy Cen­ter on Func­tio­n­al Elec­tro­nics Inte­gra­ti­on and Manu­fac­tu­ring. “It is an examp­le of what is pos­si­ble, and hope­ful­ly trig­gers inno­va­ti­on across indus­try, aca­de­mia and the natio­nal labs. A num­ber of cri­ti­cal mate­ri­als and tech­ni­ques are yet to be deve­lo­ped to allow the new type of com­pu­ting devices and archi­tec­tures.”

More Con­text: Scala­b­le Ener­gy-effi­ci­ent Magne­toelec­tric Spin–orbit Logic (DOI) (Natu­re) | New Quan­tum Mate­ri­als Could Take Com­pu­ting Devices Bey­ond the Semi­con­duc­tor Era (Ber­ke­ley News)