Reservoir Computing with Thin-film Ferromagnetic Devices

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Advances in artificial intelligence are driven by technologies inspired by the brain, but these technologies are orders of magnitude less powerful and energy efficient than biological systems. Inspired by the nonlinear dynamics of neural networks, new unconventional computing hardware has emerged with the potential for extreme parallelism and ultra-low power consumption. Physical reservoir computing demonstrates this with a variety of unconventional systems from optical-based to spintronic. Reservoir computers provide a nonlinear projection of the task input into a high-dimensional feature space by exploiting the system's internal dynamics. A trained readout layer then combines features to perform tasks, such as pattern recognition and time-series analysis. Despite progress, achieving state-of-the-art performance without external signal processing to the reservoir remains challenging. Here we show, through simulation, that magnetic materials in thin-film geometries can realise reservoir computers with greater than or similar accuracy to digital recurrent neural networks. Our results reveal that basic spin properties of magnetic films generate the required nonlinear dynamics and memory to solve machine learning tasks. Furthermore, we show that neuromorphic hardware can be reduced in size by removing the need for discrete neural components and external processing. The natural dynamics and nanoscale size of magnetic thin-films present a new path towards fast energy-efficient computing with the potential to innovate portable smart devices, self driving vehicles, and robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2021

Publication series



  • cs.ET
  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci
  • cs.AR
  • cs.LG
  • cs.NE

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