In the last decade the magnetic devices industry – and in this project we are referring to both storage devices like hard-disk drives components or magnetic random access memories (MRAM) and to sensor applications – has suffered two major changes:
- In a first instance, the market has more than doubled. If until about five years ago the only market demanding information storage devices was the computer industry, in the last years these devices have been attached to more and more common electronics like portable MP3 players and TV sets with digital recording facilities. As a consequence, the research was aimed more towards the mechanical parts miniaturization and the power consumption reduction.
- Secondly, the storage devices industry has lost a large market segment almost as fast as gained it: many producers of portable commercial products decided not to use hard-drives for their new generation of devices and they have used instead semiconductor Flash memories. For the same storing capacity the Flash memory is up to 100 times more expensive and has a much smaller number of guaranteed read-write cycles compared to the magnetic memory but has the advantage of being smaller and without any moving parts.
In this context, we intend to tackle the problem of the micromagnetic numerical study of some complex magnetic structures for storage and sensors applications that need – as we will show further on – high performance computing (HPC) tools for the fundamental understanding of their physical behavior.