Domain Wall Leaky Integrate-and-Fire Neurons with Shape-Based Configurable Activation Functions

11/11/2020 ∙ by Wesley H. Brigner, et al. ∙ 10

Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices display volatile characteristics, and are not well suited for analog applications such as neuromorphic computing. Spintronic devices, on the other hand, exhibit both non-volatile and analog features, which are well-suited to neuromorphic computing. Consequently, these novel devices are at the forefront of beyond-CMOS artificial intelligence applications. However, a large quantity of these artificial neuromorphic devices still require the use of CMOS, which decreases the efficiency of the system. To resolve this, we have previously proposed a number of artificial neurons and synapses that do not require CMOS for operation. Although these devices are a significant improvement over previous renditions, their ability to enable neural network learning and recognition is limited by their intrinsic activation functions. This work proposes modifications to these spintronic neurons that enable configuration of the activation functions through control of the shape of a magnetic domain wall track. Linear and sigmoidal activation functions are demonstrated in this work, which can be extended through a similar approach to enable a wide variety of activation functions.



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