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Researchers in France and the US have lowered the current required for spin transfer down to just 120 microamps at room temperature for a device that measures 45 nm across.

Spin transfer is when the spin angular momentum of charge carriers (usually electrons) in a material is transferred from one place to another. In the MRAM industry, Spin Transfer might help to significantly reduce power consumption, but it draws a large current. But the new technique can help with that. 

Stéphane Mangin from Nancy University and colleagues have fabricated 45 nm diameter spin valves based on cobalt-nickel multilayer elements. Because these devices exhibit perpendicular anisotropy, they are thermally stable and require currents as low as 120 microamps for spin transfer switching without any applied magnetic field.