Twisted magnets make brain-inspired computing more adaptable

CDT-ACM student Daniel Prestwood co-authors paper published in Nature Materials journal

A form of brain-inspired computing that exploits the intrinsic physical properties of a material to dramatically reduce energy use is now a step closer to reality, thanks to a new study led by UCL and Imperial College London researchers. The paper in Nature Materials can be viewed here


Reservoir computing is a neuromorphic architecture that may offer viable solutions to the growing energy costs of machine learning. In software-based machine learning, computing performance can be readily reconfigured to suit different computational tasks by tuning hyperparameters. This critical functionality is missing in ‘physical’ reservoir computing schemes that exploit nonlinear and history-dependent responses of physical systems for data processing. Here we overcome this issue with a ‘task-adaptive’ approach to physical reservoir computing. By leveraging a thermodynamical phase space to reconfigure key reservoir properties, we optimize computational performance across a diverse task set. We use the spin-wave spectra of the chiral magnet Cu2OSeO3 that hosts skyrmion, conical and helical magnetic phases, providing on-demand access to different computational reservoir responses. The task-adaptive approach is applicable to a wide variety of physical systems, which we show in other chiral magnets via above (and near) room-temperature demonstrations in Co8.5Zn8.5Mn3 (and FeGe).

Daphné Lubert Perquel

The CDT provided me with the tools to develop my career as a researcher and to participate in Outreach activities to broaden my skills. I really enjoyed my time as a student in the CDT and look forward to continuing collaborations with the research groups there.