It has been proposed to use lateral spin valve (LSV) devices for read head applications in magnetic recording. Devices used for read heads such as GMR or MTJ devices typically have complex material stacks and large heights. However, for magnetic recording applications, it is desirable to decrease this height in order to increase the resolution of the read head. Lateral spin valves are an appealing alternative since they consist of two main layers: a nonmagnetic (NM) channel and ferromagnet (FM) layer; therefore, LSVs have the potential to be ultra-thin. The top-down process allows for the entire material stack to be deposited in vacuum and helps improve interface quality as well as the magnetic properties, therefore enabling future integration with perpendicular magnetic materials. The process allows us to improve scalability by controlling individual nanomagnet and channel sizes, as opposed to FM strips commonly fabricated using lift-off methods. Along with these benefits, this process is similar to techniques currently used for MTJ applications and therefore this process an appealing approach for LSV applications in industry.