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Skyrmion-based Neuromorphic/Polymorphic Integrated Circuit Architecture

Neuro Poly, short for Neuromorphic/Polymorphic Circuit Architecture Based on Magnetic Skyrmion Devices, utilizes magnetic spin-based Skyrmion neuromorphic logic device technology for both traditional (von-Neumann) and non-traditional computing paradigms. It features a state-of-the-art reconfigurable polymorphic parallel computing hardware architecture, boasting superior energy efficiency, post-Moore's Law capabilities, non-volatile storage, and high-performance programmable architecture. Moreover, Neuro Poly offers secure and resilient design features tailored for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

Problem Statement

Current CMOS-based processor technologies face limitations in power consumption, radiation susceptibility, and adherence to Moore's Law. Von-Neumann architectures, with separate memory and computing blocks, struggle with limited device throughput and configurability, hindering their suitability for emerging ML/AI applications. Despite these challenges, they offer built-in security attributes, leveraging polymorphic architecture to mitigate various attacks and ensure secure memory protection with authentication and encryption capabilities.

Market Assessment

The potential exists to replace significant segments of the current CMOS market with circuits meeting specific requirements. These include the need for non-volatile, energy-efficient solutions, adaptable computation to accommodate changing demands like those from edge sensors, and a scalable, high-performance programmable architecture catering to diverse application needs. Moreover, integrating built-in security attributes in design can address contemporary cybersecurity concerns, while dynamic polymorphism enables obfuscation of computation to thwart reverse engineering, probing, and side-channel attacks.

What is a Skyrmion?

  • Magnetic Skyrmion are topologically stable, particle-like chiral spin textures in bulk magnets or magnetic thin films  
  • High stability, small size, very low driving current, high speed, energy-efficiency and high defect tolerance compared to conventional magnetic Domain Wall (DW) motion devices  
  • Creation and annihilation of individual magnetic Skyrmion demonstrates the potential for information-storage and logic devices  
  • The size and spacing of a Skyrmion can be as low as  1 to 3 nm 
  • The Skyrmion  nanotrack is based on the Co/Pt thin film system (e.g., 0.4nm thick cobalt film with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy on a Pt substrate).
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