Over the past decade, spiking neural networks (SNNs) have emerged as one of the popular architectures to emulate the brain. In SNNs, information is temporally encoded and communication between neurons is accomplished by means of spikes. In such networks, spike-timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms require the online programing of synapses based on the temporal information of spikes transmitted by spiking neurons. In this work, we propose a spintronic synapse with decoupled spike-transmission and programing-current paths. The spintronic synapse consists of a ferromagnet-heavy-metal heterostructure where the programing current through the heavy metal generates spin-orbit torque to modulate the device conductance. Low programing energy and fast programing times demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed device as a nanoelectronic synapse. We perform a simulation study based on an experimentally benchmarked device-simulation framework to demonstrate the interfacing of such spintronic synapses with CMOS neurons and learning circuits operating in the transistor subthreshold region to form a network of spiking neurons that can be utilized for pattern-recognition problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy