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Spintronic and Electronic Oscillators for Magnetic Field Sensing and Ising Machines

Time: Mon 2023-06-12 13.00

Location: Sal C, Electrum, Kistagången 16, Kista

Video link:

Language: English

Subject area: Information and Communication Technology

Doctoral student: Dagur Ingi Albertsson , Elektronik och inbyggda system

Opponent: Professor Atila Alvandpour, Department of Electrical Engineering, Linköping University

Supervisor: Professor Ana Rusu, Elektronik och inbyggda system; Professor Johan Åkerman, Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg; Associate Professor Saul Rodriguez Duenas, Elektronik och inbyggda system

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QC 20230510


Oscillators can exhibit a range of complex dynamics which are often encountered in nature. These characteristics include synchronization, injection locking, chaos, bifurcations, etc. To date, the applications of electronic oscillators has mostly been limited to communication systems. However, in recent years, the possibility of using the rich dynamics of oscillators in unconventional applications, including time-based information processing and computational applications, has been also explored. In this thesis, this potential is investigated using emerging spintronic oscillators and established electronic oscillators. 

The first part of this thesis targets emerging spintronic oscillators, which exhibit a range of attractive features, including GHz operating frequency, wide tunability and nanoscale size. To explore the potential of these devices, an electrical behavioural model was developed for the promising three-terminal spin-Hall nano-oscillator. The behavioural model is based on the macrospin approximation, which is commonly used to describe the operation principles of spintronic oscillators, and it was implemented in Verilog-A. Moreover, the behavioural model was verified against experimental measurements from literature, demonstrating that the most important characteristics of three-terminal spin-Hall nano-oscillators are accurately captured. Subsequently, two potential applications that could benefit from the unique characteristics of spintronic oscillators were identified and explored. First, a magnetic field sensing system, which takes advantage of the wide frequency tunability of spintronic oscillators as a function of externally applied magnetic field, was proposed and demonstrated. This sensing system, inspired by voltage-controlled oscillator analog-to-digital converters, shows performance similar to the state-of-the-art magnetic field sensors, making it a promising application for spintronic oscillators. Next, the possibility of utilizing spintronic oscillators to realize Ising machines (IMs) was explored and demonstrated with numerical simulations. This was the first-time demonstration of spintronic oscillator-based Ising machines. The numerical simulation results show that spintronic oscillators are a promising device to realize ultra-fast Ising Machines able to solve complex combinatorial optimization problems on nano-second time scale.

The second part of the thesis extends on the idea of oscillator-based IMs, but using electronic oscillators. The potential of realizing highly reconfigurable oscillator-based IMs based on quasiperiodically modulated coupling was explored. The advantages and potential challenges associated with this approach were highlighted, and a proof-of-concept IM using CMOS ring oscillators was proposed and simulated. Finally, a completely new type of IMs based on bifurcations in a network of coupled Duffing oscillators was proposed and developed. This work highlights a new research direction based on using dynamical systems implemented with analog circuits to realize IMs.