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.
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).
Avalanche Technology has been awarded new key patents in the areas of STT-MRAM technology, MRAM integration and manufacturing and perpendicular Magnetic Tunnel Junction (pMTJ) STT-MRAM. This follows eight new key patents awarded to Avalanche since the beginning of 2014.
Avalanche (founded in 2006 and based in California, US) developed patented Spin Programmable STT-MRAM (SPMEM) memory that uses a revolutionary proprietary spin current and voltage switching technology. The company wants to license their technology for embedded applications and also build discrete standalone memory devices. In July 2012 the company raised $30 million.
Everspin announced the world's first STT-MRAM chip back in 2012, and they started offering it to customers in 2013. So far we only heard of a single product that actually uses those chips: Buffalo Memory's S6C industrial SATA III SSD. Today Everspin announced it is ramping up production, and the company disclosed several new customer and ecosystem relationships.
Everspin is collaborating with FPGA leader Altera, and is showcasing three new customers: SMART Modular Technologies, Mobiveil and Mangstor. SMART Modular is demonstrating a PCIe-based, high speed, and persistent FPGA-based memory solution using Everspin's STT-MRAM chips. SMART are using Evespin's EMD3D064M 64Mb DDR3 ST-MRAM chips. Mangstor unveiled the MX6000 family of Intelligent Storage Devices that use Everspin's ST-MRAM chips.