Synaptic memory is considered to be the main element responsible for learning and cognition in humans. Although traditionally nonvolatile long-term plasticity changes are implemented in nanoelectronic synapses for neuromorphic applications, recent studies in neuroscience reveal that biological synapses undergo metastable volatile strengthening followed by a long-term strengthening provided that the frequency of the input stimulus is sufficiently high. Such "memory strengthening" and "memory decay" functionalities can potentially lead to adaptive neuromorphic architectures. In this paper, we demonstrate the close resemblance of the magnetization dynamics of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) to short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation observed in biological synapses. We illustrate that, in addition to the magnitude and duration of the input stimulus, the frequency of the stimulus plays a critical role in determining long-term potentiation of the MTJ. Such MTJ synaptic memory arrays can be utilized to create compact, ultrafast, and low-power intelligent neural systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy