Summary This invention provides a one step process for reading magnetic data and converting the magnetic digital signal directly into an optical signal. This invention enables an electronic system, which includes a three terminal device having a light emitting portion and a magnetically sensitive portion. The magnetically sensitive portion is for modulating light emission from the light-emitting portion. The device is a spin valve transistor having a light-emitting quantum well in its collector. The device can convert a magnetic digital signal to both an electrical digital signal and an optical digital signal, wherein either or both of these signals can be provided as a device output. The magnetically sensitive portion of the device is formed of a pair of magnetically permeable layers. When the layers are aligned, electron current can pass through with sufficient energy to reach a quantum well where they recombine, generating light. The device may provide a display or a memory array composed of single device magnetic write, optical read memory cells. Amplification can be provided to the transistor by impact ionization to provide greater electron current and a correspondingly larger optical emission signal.
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