Neuromorphic computing uses brain-inspired principles to design circuits that can perform computational tasks with superior power efficiency to conventional computers. Approaches that use traditional electronic devices to create artificial neurons and synapses are, however, currently limited by the energy and area requirements of these components. Spintronic nanodevices, which exploit both the magnetic and electrical properties of electrons, can increase the energy efficiency and decrease the area of these circuits, and magnetic tunnel junctions are of particular interest as neuromorphic computing elements because they are compatible with standard integrated circuits and can support multiple functionalities. Here, we review the development of spintronic devices for neuromorphic computing. We examine how magnetic tunnel junctions can serve as synapses and neurons, and how magnetic textures, such as domain walls and skyrmions, can function as neurons. We also explore spintronics-based implementations of neuromorphic computing tasks, such as pattern recognition in an associative memory, and discuss the challenges that exist in scaling up these systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering