Magnetoelastic Clock System for Nanomagnet Logic
In recent years, magnetic-based technologies, like nanomagnet logic (NML), are gaining increasing interest as possible substitutes of CMOS transistors. The possibility to mix logic and memory in the same device, coupled with a potential low power consumption, opens up completely new ways of developing circuits. The major issue of this technology is the necessity to use an external magnetic field as clock signal to drive the information through the circuit. The power losses due to the magnetic field generation potentially wipe out any advantages of NML. To solve this problem, new clock mechanisms were developed, based on spin transfer torque current and on voltage-controlled multiferroic structures that use magnetoelastic properties of magnetic materials, i.e., exploiting the possibility of influencing magnetization dynamics by means of the elastic tensor. In particular, the latter shows an extremely low power consumption. In this paper, we propose an innovative voltage-controlled magnetoelastic clock system aware of the technological constraints risen by modern fabrication processes. We show how circuits can be fabricated taking into account technological limitations, and we evaluate the performance of the proposed system. Results show that the proposed solution promises remarkable improvements over other NML approaches, even though state-of-the-art ideal multiferroic logic has in theory better performance. Moreover, since the proposed approach is technology-friendly, it gives a substantial contribution toward the fabrication of a full magnetic circuit and represents an optimal tradeoff between performance and feasibility.