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European SpinTronicFactory network publishes spintronics road map

​On August 19, 2020, the European consortium SpinTronicFactory, led by the French laboratories[1] Spintec (CEA, CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes) and Thales-CNRS Joint Unit (Palaiseau), published an ambitious spintronics road map in Nature Electronics. The field, at the frontier between magnetism and microelectronics, is coming of age, and offers wide possibilities for innovation.

Published on 9 September 2020
Since its birth in Europe in the late 1980s, basic research in spintronics (or spin electronics) has been exceptionally dynamic and offers important prospects in information and communication technologies.

The microelectronics industry is now giving it a place of choice, with major players in the field (Samsung, TSMC, Intel, Global Foundries) launching production of a new type of magnetic memory–Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM)–offering electronic circuits new functionalities and improved performance, particularly in terms of power consumption.

The European SpinTronicFactory network, created in 2016, aims to promote the search for excellence in spintronics in Europe and all the potential it holds for innovation. On August 19, 2020, it published its vision of the road map for spintronics applications in Nature Electronics and identifies the upcoming challenges:  


  • fabrication of very high density chips by developing 3D-inspired disruptive solutions;
  • reduction of power consumption by implementing fundamental, less energy-intensive interface effects using spin-orbit quantum coupling or voltage control of magnetic properties without electric current. 

  • improved sensitivity;
  • magnetic field measurement range;
  • innovative sensor architectures. 
These challenges reflect the very diverse needs of this market, which covers smart phones (3D magnetometers / digital compasses), the automotive sector (linear or angular position and speed sensors), current and power sensors, and scanners. New applications are emerging in the Internet of Things (IoT) and biomedical fields with the development of reliable low-power devices on silicon or flexible substrates.
Radio frequency and terahertz (THz) technologies

  • applications using direct current to generate radio frequency oscillations of magnetization and vice versa. 
Proofs of concept have been demonstrated for oscillator and diode functions with significant potential for telecom components. They must now be integrated in different applications, including compact and low-power telecommunications, THz applications (imaging, security), micro-energy recovery and artificial intelligence. 

Finally, looking further down the road, milestones are proposed to demonstrate the potential of spintronics, to directly carry out information processing using the spin of the electron and not only its electrical charge, making it possible to further reduce the consumption of electronic circuits and introduce new functionalities. The challenges identified relate in particular to the efficiency of conversions between spin current and load current in new concepts.

Meeting these various challenges will require progress in the development of non-conventional materials, the interfaces on which spintronic functionalities often depend, nanofabrication and implementation in production lines, including specific metrology. Developments will also have to be carried out in numerical simulation, ranging from the integration of new effects in multi-physical codes, to multi-scale approaches from the atom to systems.


The main objectives of SpinTronicFactory:

  • build a road map focusing on spintronics applications to be updated regularly; 
  • develop synergies and collaborations among European universities, research centers and industries;
  • launch major efforts to bring together representatives from academia and industry in Europe. 
  • pool European resources and facilities;
  • organize events (symposia, summer schools, etc.) aimed at strengthening relationships between magnetism and microelectronics communities.

It is organized around four pillars of research and development:

  • memories, 
  • magnetic sensors, 
  • radio-frequency and microwave devices, 
  • logic devices.
It currently brings together 87 partners from 17 European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Turkey, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium, Norway, Hungary, Czech Republic):

  • 12 companies, 
  • 30 R&D centers
  • 45 academic entities. 
SpinTronicFactory has a close relationship with the larger European Magnetism Association (EMA), which seeks to structure the entire European magnetic community.


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