WIN Final Report Phase 1.5, Year 2
The Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN Center) working together with its industry partners was established as the first NRI center of excellence in 2006. The researchers were very much involved during the process of creating the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) and I was pleased to learn that WIN also served as the model for all subsequent NRI centers. Since its inception, the WIN center garnered some collective wisdoms and consensus from all stakeholders and PIs to address the key energy dissipation challenge of scaled CMOS and to explore alternative low energy switches. They focused on spintronics, and ensured all co-PIs were razer focused in order to assure that they would be able to obtain results to ascertain the feasibly of their proposed spintronic device studies using collective spintronics. They believed that magnetic spintronics using collective spins would be possible to operate at room temperature in contrast with those of single spin, for which work mostly at low temperature. Indeed, magnetism is the only collective electron phenomena working beyond room temperature. To address the objective of creating an alternative low energy device, they set a grand challenge/question for WIN Phase 1.0: “Do spintronic device concepts provide a feasible path for information processing beyond the CMOS platform? (As stated in the 2006 review). In doing so, they formulated three thrust areas: devices (and materials), circuits, and benchmark. At that time, they clearly recognised the importance of materials; however, these were integrated into the device thrust area. From the very beginning we also realized the importance of benchmarking new device ideas against CMOS devices, circuits and systems. They are indeed very pleased that the benchmark effort was expanded to a higher NRI level, which was coordinated by Dr. Bernstein and expanded more recently further by Drs. Dmitri Nikonov and Ian Young. Looking back, it is clear that their research efforts in the last 6 years had confirmed their concepts and answered positively that, “yes indeed”, spintronic device concepts do indeed provide a feasible path for beyond CMOS information processing.