A proposal for leaky integrate-and-fire neurons by domain walls in antiferromagnetic insulators

Brehm, Verena, Austefjord, Johannes W., Lepadatu, Serban orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6221-9727 and Qaiumzadeh, Alireza (2023) A proposal for leaky integrate-and-fire neurons by domain walls in antiferromagnetic insulators. Scientific Reports, 13 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-40575-x


Brain-inspired neuromorphic computing is a promising path towards next generation analogue computers that are fundamentally different compared to the conventional von Neumann architecture. One model for neuromorphic computing that can mimic the human brain behavior are spiking neural networks (SNNs), of which one of the most successful is the leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) model. Since conventional complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices are not meant for modelling neural networks and are energy inefficient in network applications, recently the focus shifted towards spintronic-based neural networks. In this work, using the advantage of antiferromagnetic insulators, we propose a non-volatile magnonic neuron that could be the building block of a LIF spiking neuronal network. In our proposal, an antiferromagnetic domain wall in the presence of a magnetic anisotropy gradient mimics a biological neuron with leaky, integrating, and firing properties. This single neuron is controlled by polarized antiferromagnetic magnons, activated by either a magnetic field pulse or a spin transfer torque mechanism, and has properties similar to biological neurons, namely latency, refraction, bursting and inhibition. We argue that this proposed single neuron, based on antiferromagnetic domain walls, is faster and has more functionalities compared to previously proposed neurons based on ferromagnetic systems.

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