(Abstract) Magnetic skyrmions have attracted considerable interest, especially after their recent experimental demonstration at room temperature in multilayers. The robustness, nanoscale size and non-volatility of skyrmions have triggered a substantial amount of research on skyrmion-based low-power, ultra-dense nanocomputing and neuromorphic systems such as artificial synapses. Room-temperature operation is required to integrate skyrmionic synapses in practical future devices. Here, we numerically propose a nanoscale skyrmionic synapse composed of magnetic multilayers that enables room-temperature device operation tailored for optimal synaptic resolution. We demonstrate that when embedding such multilayer skyrmionic synapses in a simple spiking neural network (SNN) with unsupervised learning via the spike-timing-dependent plasticity rule, we can achieve only a ∼78% classification accuracy in the MNIST handwritten data set under realistic conditions. We propose that this performance can be significantly improved to ∼98.61% by using a deep SNN with supervised learning. Our results illustrate that the proposed skyrmionic synapse can be a potential candidate for future energy-efficient neuromorphic edge computing.
Nanoscale room-temperature multilayer skyrmionic synapse for deep spiking neural networks
R. Chen, C. Li, Y. Li, J. J. Miles, G. Indiveri, S. Furber, V. F. Pavlidis, and C. Moutafis. Physical Review Applied 14, 014096 (2020).