Will Magnon Enter Our Lexicon?

Posted on Friday, Apr 7, 2023 by Ned Bellavance

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

You’ve certainly heard of electronics (moving around electrons) and maybe heard of photonics (moving around photons) but I bet you’ve never heard of magnonics. Guess what it deals with? I bet ICP knows. Fucking magnets! Or more specifically the amount of energy required to change a material’s magnetization using a spin wave.

Essentially, magnons can use spin waves instead of electrons to transport and encode data on receptive materials. According to Dirk Grundler, head of the Lab of Nanoscale Magnetic Materials and Magnonics at the EPFL in Switzerland, magnonic methods could be used to bypass the Van Neuman bottleneck that exists between computation and memory, allowing computing to occur directly on non-volatile memory.

The lab has successfully demonstrated using spin waves on a wafer of yttrium iron garnet to encode 1s and 0s with magnetic states. Obviously there is a long road between this discovery and any commercial application, but it’s always neat to see what might be next after the humble silicon wafer.