SPINTRONIC IC DESIGN

Overview

The team is dedicated to the evaluation of the benefits of using magnetic devices in Integrated Circuits (ICs). It is expected that integrating non-volatility in ICs could contribute to push forward the incoming limits in the microelectronics scaling. This work includes integrating the magnetic devices in standard design tools, design hybrid circuits and evaluate their performance for various applications. The unique combination of advantages of spintronics devices (non-volatility associated with high speed and endurance, analogue capabilities, well controlled stochastic behavior…) allows intrinsically mixing the memory and logic functionalities (in Memory Computing). This opens the way towards new computing paradigms, beyond the standard Von-Newman architecture of computing systems. The  most interesting applications addressed in the team are described below.

Research topics

Hybrid CMOS/Magnetic design flow

Designing hybrid circuits requires integrating the magnetic devices in the standard design flow of microelectronics. This includes compacts models for electrical simulations, technology files including the magnetic back-end and libraries of Standard Cells for digital design.

Low-power logic circuits

One issue related to microelectronics scaling is the increasing standby power, due to leakage currents. Introducing non-volatility in circuits allows easing the power gating technique, which consists in cutting-off the power supply of inactive blocks to save leakage.

Artificial intelligence

Spiking Neural Networks are seen as a Key building block for strongly improving the energy efficiency of current AI applications and opening up new possibilities (in terms of unsupervised learning, recurrent networks, probabilistic inference, etc.). The scientific challenges to be tackled are the following: the first one is to define power-constrained learning and inference algorithms (online, supervised, unsupervised, probabilistic, etc.). The second one is to design a scalable and flexible SNN architecture, adaptable to the different above-mentioned algorithms, and fabricate that circuit in hybrid nanoscale CMOS and NVM technology, enabling very dense synaptic density. The last objective is to derive a principled toolchain for the algorithm, design, development, and integration of spiking neural networks for future adoption in industrial health and automotive embedded applications.

IC Reliability : Hardware security

While STT MRAM can be beneficial for hardware security (taking advantage of its stochastic behavior for cryptography for instance), it also presents some specific failures mechanisms that has to be studied to take the appropriate countermeasures.

IC Reliability : Radiation hardening

The intrinsic hardness to radiations of the magnetic devices make them a good candidate to be embedded in circuits for space applications. It can be advantageously combined with other hardening technologies or design techniques targeting space applications.

The team

Projects

Present

  • NV-APROC, ANR (2019-2023) – MRAM-based Non-volatile Asynchronous Processor
  • MISTRAL, ANR (2019-2023) – MRAM/CMOS Hybridization to secure cryptographic algorithms
  • SPINBRAIN (2020-2022) – Spintronic-based Neural Network
  • HANS, UGA (2019-2022) –
  • ELECSPIN, ANR (2016-2020) – Electric-filed control of spin-based phenomena

Former members

Permanent Staff

  • Christophe LAYER : Research scientist
  • François DUHEM: Research scientist

Post-docs

  • Pierre VANHAUWAERT (2014-2017)
  • Eldar ZIANBETOV (2014-2017)
  • Kotb JABEUR (2013-2017)
  • Virgile JAVERLIAC (2013-2014)
  • Fabrice BERNARD-GRANGER (2013-2014)
  • Yun YANG (2012-2013)
  • Abdelilah MEJDOUBI (2010-2012)

PhD

  • Mounia KHARBOUCHE (supervised by G. Di Pendina, R. Wacquez and J.M. Portal) (2016-2019)
  • Rana ALHALABI (supervised by G. Di Pendina, E. Nowak and L. Prejbeanu) (2016-2019)
  • Jeremy LOPES (supervised by G. Di Pendina, E. Beigne, D. Dangla and L. Torres) (2014-2017)
  • Erya DENG (supervised by G. Prenat and L. Anghel) (2014-2017)
  • Olivier GONCALVES (supervised by G. Prenat and B. Dieny) (2009-2012)
  • Wei GUO (supervised by G. Prenat and B. Dieny) (2006 – 2010)
  • Mourad El BARAJI (supervised by G. Prenat and B. Dieny) (2007-2009)

Engineers

  • Stephane GROS (2013-2014)
  • Pierre PAOLI (2013-2014)

 

Former projects

  • GREAT, H2020 (2016-2019)
  • MASTA, ANR (2016-2019)
  • NOVELASIC, CEA-nanosciences (2015)
  • MAD, CEA internal (2014-2018)
  • SPOT, H2020 (2012-2015)
  • MARS, ANR (2012-2015)
  • DIPMEM, ANR (2012-2015)
  • HYMAGINE, ERC Advanced grant (2010-2015)

Partners

  • eVaderis
  • TowerJazz
  • Singulus
  • Toplink Innovation
  • TIMA
  • LIRMM
  • IEF
  • TUD
  • University of Brasov
  • KIT
  • LETI
  • IM2NP
  • CEA Tech (Gardanne)
  • EMSE (Gardanne)
  • Greenwaves
  • Tiempo Secure
  • Starchip
  • CNES
  • Dolphin Integration
  • SIGFOX
  • Antaios
  • IHP
  • Thales TRT
  • University of Newcastle
  • EM Marin

Recent news

  • High-density SOT-MRAM memory array based on a single transistor (September 18th, 2019)High-density SOT-MRAM memory array based on a single transistor
    Spin Orbit Torque Magnetic RAM (SOT-MRAM) approach represents a new way to overcome Spin Transfer Torque (STT) memory limitations by separating the reading and the writing paths. It is particularly interesting for high-speed applications that do ...
  • Light-Weight Cipher Based on Hybrid CMOS/STT-MRAM: Power/Area Analysis (September 04th, 2019)Light-Weight Cipher Based on Hybrid CMOS/STT-MRAM: Power/Area Analysis
    Internet of Things (IoT) applications deployment relies on low-power and security constraints. In this perspective, lightweight cryptography has been developed. This field enables, with a reduced area and power consumption, to encrypt sensitive data processed in ...
  • NV-APROC – An ANR project (August 12th, 2019)NV-APROC - An ANR project
    NV-APROC stands for Non Volatile MRAM-based Asynchronous PROCessor, a 42-month ANR project starting on October 2019, coordinated by Spintec. Micro and nano electronics integrated circuit domain has been strongly driven by the advent of ...
  • MISTRAL – An ANR project (August 12th, 2019)MISTRAL - An ANR project
    MISTRAL stands for MRAM/CMOS Hybridization to Secure Cryptographic Algorithms, an 42-month ANR project starting on October 2019, coordinated by EMSE (Ecole des Mines de St Etienne in Gardanne). MISTRAL is addressing the security of the cryptography ...
  • Best poster award at the 18th Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium (October 26th, 2018)Best poster award at the 18th Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium
    Rana Alhalabi has been awarded of the best poster prize at the 18th Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium that took place in October 2018 in Sendai, Japan. The title of the poster was “High density SOT-MRAM ...

Publications

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