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CMOS/magnetoelectronic Integrated Circuits wil Multifunctional Capabilities

Project description

Ultra-low-power multifunctional systems combining semiconductor and magnetic technology

The number of portable electronic devices with increasingly complex circuitry connecting to the internet is rising. Reducing energy consumption is a key goal in microelectronics, alongside increasing communication bandwidth and decreasing processing and packaging costs. Spin-transfer-torque magnetic random-access memory (STT-MRAM) is an emerging solid-state (non-volatile) memory technology that is faster and less expensive and energy-intensive than existing solutions. Focusing on STT-MRAM, the European Research Council-funded MAGICAL project plans to make groundbreaking advances in ultra-low power, multifunctional systems by integrating conventional complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology with magnetic technology. MAGICAL will solve outstanding challenges in sub-20nm STT-MRAM development, demonstrating functional use and enhancing cooperation between the magnetism and microelectronics communities.


Spin Transfer Torque Magnetic memories (STT-MRAM) are receiving a growing R&D effort within the microelectronic industry aiming at the replacement of DRAM or SRAM at sub-20nm nodes.
MAGICAL seeks to significantly innovate through groundbreaking advances in ultra-low power multifunctional systems based on hybrid CMOS/magnetic technology. With the development of portable electronics and of the Internet of Things (IOT), more and more functions must be embedded on chips: logic/memory, sensing, communication, etc. The current hurdles with today's technology are power consumption, communication bandwidth, processing/ packaging costs. MAGICAL will demonstrate that these limitations can be largely overcome through hybrid CMOS/magnetic technology.
The project will follow three main goals:
- Firstly, we will strengthen the STT-MRAM technology by investigating two novel ideas aiming at solving two remaining difficulties in sub-20nm STT-MRAM development: the nanostructuration of magnetic tunnel junctions and the long-term data retention. This will open the path to high density (>Gbit) STT-MRAM.
-Secondly, we will demonstrate that Digital, analog (3D magnetic field sensing for orientation sensor), RF communication functions can be realized with the same baseline technology as the one developed for STT-MRAM. As a result, these three types of functions can be homogeneously integrated in a single chip, a major improvement compared to conventional heterogeneous integration. The prime benefits expected from MAGICAL are: ultralow power thanks to MRAM non volatility and on-chip computation capability, greatly improved communication functionalities (cloud as well as intrachip communication), reduced process/packaging costs.
-Thirdly, through various actions, MAGICAL will aim at narrowing the cultural gap that still exists between magnetism and microelectronics communities.
The project could definitely help the European microelectronic systems industry improve its leadership position.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 323 586,25
75015 PARIS 15

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 2 500 000,00

Beneficiaries (2)