Compact modeling and circuit design based on spin injection

Abstract : The CMOS technology has tremendously affected the development of the semi-conductor industry. However, as the technology node is scaled down, the CMOS technology faces significant challenges set by the leakage power and the short channel effects. To cope with this problem, researchers pay their attention to the spintronics in recent years, considering its possibilities to allow smaller size fabrication and lower power operations. The magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) is one of the most important spintronic devices which can store binary data based on Tunnel MagnetoResistance (TMR) effect. Except for the non-volatile memory, MTJ can be also used to combine with or replace the CMOS circuits to implement a hybrid circuit, for the potential to achieve low power consumption and high speed performance. However, the problem of frequent spin-charge conversion in a hybrid circuit may cause large power consumption, which diminishes the advantage of the hybrid circuits. Therefore, the ASL concept which uses a pure spin current to transport the information is proposed for fewer charge-spin conversions, thus for less power consumption. The design of ASL device-based circuits leads to numerous challenges related to the heterogeneity they introduce and the large design space to explore. Hence, this thesis focus on filling the gap between application requirements at the system level and the device fabrication at the device level. In device level, we developed a compact model integrating the STT, the TMR, the spin injection/accumulation effects, the channel breakdown current and the spin diffusion delay. Validated by comparing with experimental results, this model allows exploring fabrication-related device parameters such as channel lengths and MTJ sizes and help designers to prevent from device damages. Moreover, programmed with Verilog-A on Cadence and divided into several blocks: injector, detector, channel and contact devices, this model allows the independent design and cross-layer optimization of ASL-based circuits, that eases the design of hierarchical, complex circuits. Furthermore, the spin injection/accumulation expressions for the used ASL device are derived, enabling to discuss the experimental phenomena of the ASL device. In circuit level, we developed a circuit/system design methodology, taking into account the channel distribution, the gate interconnection and the different injection current ratios caused by the spin diffusion. With circuit/system specifications and constraints, the boolean functions of a circuit are synthesized based on the developed synthesis method and fabrication-level parameters: channel lengths, MTJ sizes are specified. Based on this developed methodology, basic combinational circuits that form a circuit library are designed and evaluated by using the developed compact model. In system level, a DCT circuit, a convolution circuit and an Intel i7 system are evaluated exploring the interconnection issues: interconnection distribution between gates and inserted buffer count. With theoretical parameters, results show that ASL-based circuit/system can outperform CMOS-based circuit/system. Moreover, the pipelining schema of the ASL-based circuit is discussed with MTJ as latches inserted between stages. The reconfigurability caused by the injection current polarities/values and the control terminal states of ASL-based circuits are also discussed with the reconfigurable exploration of basic logic circuits.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01720258, version 1

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Qi An. Compact modeling and circuit design based on spin injection. Electronics. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLS240⟩. ⟨tel-01720258⟩

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