Three dimensional magnetic abacus memory

Stacking nonvolatile memory cells into a three-dimensional matrix represents a powerful solution for the future of magnetic memory. However, it is technologically challenging to access the data in the storage medium if large numbers of bits are stacked on top of each other. Here we introduce a new type of multilevel, nonvolatile magnetic memory concept, the magnetic abacus. Instead of storing information in individual magnetic layers, thereby having to read out each magnetic layer separately, the magnetic abacus adopts a new encoding scheme. It is inspired by the idea of second quantisation, dealing with the memory state of the entire stack simultaneously. Direct read operations are implemented by measuring the artificially engineered 'quantised' Hall voltage, each representing a count of the spin-up and spin-down layers in the stack. This new memory system further allows for both flexible scaling of the system and fast communication among cells. The magnetic abacus provides a promising approach for future nonvolatile 3D magnetic random access memory.

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