IBM, Stanford Collaborate on World-Class Spintronics Research

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SAN JOSE, Calif. - 26 Apr 2004: IBM and Stanford University are joining forces on the advanced research and creation of new high-performance, low-power electronics in the emerging field of nanotechnology called "spintronics." To formalize the effort, scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center and Stanford University today announced the formation of the IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center (SpinAps, for short).

"SpinAps researchers will work to create breakthroughs that could revolutionize the electronics industry, just as the transistor did 50 years ago," said Dr. Robert Morris, IBM VP and director of the Almaden Research Center.

Since its inception, the microelectronics industry has progressed by shrinking circuitry. This approach is becoming much more difficult, time-consuming and expensive, and there is now a worldwide search for new ideas that can deliver improved performance in smaller sizes than is possible with conventional designs. Spintronics is an exciting possibility because controlling the spin -- or magnetic orientation -- of electrons within tiny structures made of ultra-thin layers can produce such advantageous properties as low-power switching and nonvolatile information storage.

"The SpinAps scientists will dramatically hasten progress from theoretical concept to experimental verification and from new-device ideas to product prototypes," said Stanford Dean of Engineering Dr. James D. Plummer.

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