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Research consortium established to boost Singapore’s spintronics capabilities

Zafirah Salim | Dec. 5, 2014
The founders of this research consortium include NUS, NTU, Applied Materials, Inc., Delta Electronics and GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

The National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Applied Materials, Inc., Delta Electronics and GLOBALFOUNDRIES signed today a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in spintronics R&D activities.

Under this partnership, these five entities established a research consortium in Singapore, in a bid to encourage researchers to explore innovative electron spin-based technologies for sensor, memory and logic applications.

Called the Singapore Spintronics Consortium (SG-SPIN), it will facilitate collaborate research partnerships between the institutes of higher learning and industry. In addition, SG-SPIN also aims to grow and attract more companies to conduct spintronics activities in Singapore.

SG-SPIN is led by Professor Wu Yihong from NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore and NTU's NTUitive.

Spintronics an emerging technology

According to a joint media statement, Spintronics utilises the intrinsic spin of electrons and associated magnetic moment, in addition to their electronic charge that is exclusively used in existing electronic devices.

It added that this area of research can potentially lead to more energy-efficient, larger capacity and faster devices compared to current technology.

"SG-SPIN is an excellent platform to galvanise spintronics research efforts in Singapore for a more synergistic and targeted outcome. We hope that this new consortium will help commercialise such research, so it can be translated into new applications that benefit society," said Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.

Driving the next phase of spintronics development in Singapore

Besides helping to drive the next phase of spintronics development and related fields in Singapore, the SG-SPIN will also help to build networks and partnerships within the sector.

Currently, several projects by NUS and NTU in collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES have been identified under SG-SPIN in four areas of future electronics: new magnetic materials and structures, spin-orbit engineering, electric field control of magnetism, and advanced theoretical computation.

Singapore has been building its spintronics capabilities since the late 1990s, according to the companies, adding that the environment here is ideal for spintronics research due to existing strengths in data storage and the concentration of companies in the electronics sector.

"NRF Singapore has helped, over the years, to catalyse research capabilities in spintronics in the universities and we are starting to have a good number of experts working in the area. Companies in Singapore are increasingly finding value in working with universities and vice versa," said Low Teck Seng, CEO NRF Singapore. "It is now an opportune time to encourage greater interaction amongst academia and industry to realise innovation."


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