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Intel Reproduces NIST System for Company’s Future Computing Enhancements

NISTCoplanar waveguide

Intel Corporation recently successfully replicated a measurement system that was invented and developed by NIST to strengthening the company’s ability to assess the applicability of nanoscale magnetic devices in future computing.

As reported by NIST, Intel and Stanford University scientists have already published results from their first study with the NIST-model system in the Journal of Applied Physics.

“It’s sort of the next stage in tech transfer,” said Tom Silva, of NIST’s Physical Measurement Laboratory. “Not only are they using it, but they’re publishing papers on measurements taken with it.”

Scientifically called the ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) spectrometer, the measurement system is extremely sensitive, and enables scientists to study the dynamic properties of materials for potential use in “spintronic” random access memory (RAM). NIST stated that the field is growing worldwide due to its high speed and low power requirements.

Spintronics uses the spin states of electrons to process information, a stark contrast to the current computer dynamic RAM, which stores binary data as charge states in clusters of tiny capacitors. Spintronics memory can also be processed in a very short time and uses minute amounts of power.

While the time and power saved through spintronics’s memory performance is groundbreaking in the computer processing field, it is critically dependent on the degree to which the ferromagnetic nanostructure materials resist changing their spin orientation.

For those reasons, NIST’s Silva and Hans Nembach designed and developed in 2009 a measurement system that could evaluate the nanoscale magnetic properties. After publishing their initial results in 2011, Silva and Nembach received interest and started working with Intel about the FMR spectrometer.

Intel eventually decided it needed its own technology based off of the NIST system and worked with the NIST scientists to clone the system for their company.

“World-known experts in magnetic dynamics Tom Silva, Hans Nembach, and Justin Shaw have been essential in advancing Intel’s understanding of magnetic thin films,” said Kevin O’Brien, a senior engineer from Intel’s Components Research and one of the lead authors on the new publication. “Furthermore, we decided to reproduce the NIST FMR setup in-house at Intel because of the great data quality—essentially a copy exactly of the NIST experimental setup. We very much appreciate all of the support we have gotten from the NIST team.”

To read more about the Intel clone of the NIST measurement system, view the original NIST article.

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