Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


USF team finds new way of computing with interaction-dependent state change of nanomagnets


University of South Florida engineering researchers find nano-scale magnets could compute complex functions significantly faster than conventional computers

Researchers from the University of South Florida College of Engineering have proposed a new form of computing that uses circular nanomagnets to solve quadratic optimization problems orders of magnitude faster than that of a conventional computer.

The artist's portrayal is an illustration of a nanomagnetic coprocessor solving complex optimization problems and highlights the shape-engineered nanomagnet's two unique energy minimum states -- vortex and single domain.

Credit: Illustration by Ryan Wakefield

A wide range of application domains can be potentially accelerated through this research such as finding patterns in social media, error-correcting codes to Big Data and biosciences.

In an article published in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology, "Non Boolean computing with nanomagnets for computer vision applications," authors Sanjukta Bhanja, D.K. Karunaratne, Ravi Panchumarthy, Srinath Rajaram, and Sudeep Sarkar discuss how their work harnessed the energy-minimization nature of nanomagnetic systems to solve the quadratic optimization problems that arise in computer vision applications, which are computationally expensive.

According to the authors, magnets have been used as computer memory/data storage since as early as 1920; they even made an entry into common hardware terminology like multi-"core." The field of nanomagnetism has recently attracted tremendous attention as it can potentially deliver low-power, high speed and dense non-volatile memories.

It is now possible to engineer the size, shape, spacing, orientation and composition of sub-100 nm magnetic structures. This has spurred the exploration of nanomagnets for unconventional computing paradigms.

By exploiting the magnetization states of nanomagnetic disks as state representations of a vortex and single domain, the research team has created a modeling framework to address the vortex and in-plane single domain in a unified framework and developed a magnetic Hamiltonian which is quadratic in nature.

The implemented magnetic system can identify the salient features of a given image with more than 85 percent true positive rate. This form of computing, on average, is 1,528 times faster than IBM ILOG CPLEX (an industry standard software optimizer) with sparse affinity matrices (four neighbor), and 468 times faster with denser (eight neighbor) affinity matrices. These results show the potential of this alternative computing method to develop a magnetic coprocessor that might solve complex problems in fewer clock cycles than traditional processors.


The research team includes faculty, alumni and students of electrical engineering and computer science and engineering: associate professor in electrical engineering Bhanja; alumnus Karunaratne, a 2013 PhD in electrical engineering and currently at Intel; Panchumarthy, doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering; Rajaram, a 2014 PhD in electrical engineering and currently at Micron; and computer science and engineering professor Sarkar.

This work was sponsored in part by National Science Foundation NSF CAREER grant no. 0639624, NSF (CRI) grant no. 0551621 and NSF (EMT) grant no. 0829838. Most of the fabrication and characterization is done at USF Nanotechnology Research and Education Center (NREC).

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Media Contact

Janet Gillis


Janet Gillis | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch
20.10.2016 | The Optical Society

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>