MRAM News, Resources & Information
MRAM is a next-generation memory technology, based on electron spin rather then its charge. Often referred to as the "holy-grail of memory", MRAM is fast, high-density and non-volatile and can replace all kinds of memories used today in a single chip.
Everspin Technologies entered into a partnership with GlobalFoundries to build fully processed 300mm wafers with Everspin's ST-MRAM technology, starting with GF's 28-nm and 40-nm low-power CMOS platforms. As part of the agreement, GlobalFoundries invested an undisclosed amount in Everspin, and they already acquired ST-MRAM processing equipment (40-nm).
Everspin hopes that the new agreement will help drive ST-MRAM adoption and will offer higher volume production at lower cost. The company reports that they shipped over 40 million MRAM chips - which represents very fast growth as in August 2013 they reported selling 10 million MRAM chips so they sold almost 30 million chips in just over a year (it took them over 4 years to sell the first 10 million).
Crocus Technology launched a new project (called Miultismart) to develop secure multibit architecture for its Magnetic Logic Unit (MLU) technology. Crocus will collaborate with Gemalto and the French research laboratories at LIRMM and IM2NP.
A multibit architecture will enable Crocus to increase the memory density without changing the die size. As part of this project, Gemalto will develop a new operating system suitable for this MCU and LIRMM and IM2NP will test, qualify and characterize the end product - a secure microcontroller with a secure element.
A few days ago I reported that TDK will show a new STT-MRAM prototype, and now we have some more information and a couple of photos of the new test chip. TDK is showing their first STT-MRAM chip, a 8Mb device, produced on a 8" silicon substrate.
This is the first time TDK exposed their STT-MRAM technology. Those MRAM chips were produced by TDK's Headway Technologies. TDK will not mass poroduce MRAM chips themselves but rather seek a chip-making partner to produce them. But this may take a while: TDK says it could be up to 10 years before the technology matures (earlier reports said TDK estimates that it will take 3 years to commercialize this technology).
According to a report from Japan, TDK Corp is going to present a prototype 8-Mbit STT-MRAM device today at Ceatec Japan 2014. The MRAM was produced on a 8" silicon substrate. Hopefully TDK will give more details on this achievement later today.
The report further says that TDK aims to commercialize STT-MRAM chips in 3-5 years.
This book presents a systematic overview of emerging non-volatile memory technologies. The book discusses recent improvements in flash technologies (such as 3D NAND), phase change memory and resistive random access memory technologies and alternative technologies such as STT-MRAM, ferroelectric and organic memory devices.
Researchers from the A*STAR institute in Singapore suggest a new design that could make STT-MRAM devices faster. Using a computational model, the researchers tried different designs for the relative orientation of the magnetic fields in both MRAM layers (the 'field-like' term).
The strength of the 'field-like' term depends on the device geometry and the materials used. Devices with a strong field-like term has a greater potential to reduce switching times than for devices in which the field-like term is negligible.
Here's an interesting video interview with Joe O'Hare, Everspin's Director of Product Marketing. Joe explains the company's MRAM (and ST-MRAM) tech and business, especially how it relates to enterprise SSD, which seems to be the focus of MRAM applications at the moment:
During the interview, Joe updates that everspin is now designing a 256Mb chip, and this will be the next product the company will introduce. Currently their highest-density chip is the 64Mb ST-MRAM chip (announced in 2012, but only ramped-up recently).