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Nanoelectronic devices that mimic the functionality of synapses are a crucial requirement for performing cortical simulations of the brain. In this work, we propose a ferromagnet-heavy metal heterostructure that employs spin-orbit torque to implement spike-timing dependent plasticity. The proposed device offers the advantage of decoupled spike transmission and programming current paths, thereby leading to reliable operation during online learning. Possible arrangement of such devices in a crosspoint architecture can pave the way for ultra-dense neural networks. Simulation studies indicate that the device has the potential of achieving pico-Joule level energy consumption (maximum 2 pJ per synaptic event) which is comparable to the energy consumption for synaptic events in biological synapses.


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