Avalanche sign an agreement with UMC for 28nm embedded STT-MRAM technology

pMTJ STT-MRAM developer Avalanche Technology announced that it has entered into a joint development and production agreement with Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), a global semiconductor foundry.

UMC will provide embedded non-volatile STT-MRAM blocks based on UMC's 28nm CMOS manufacturing process, which will enable customers to integrate low latency, very high performance and low power embedded MRAM memory blocks into MCUs and SoCs, targeting the Internet of Things, wearable, consumer, industrial and automotive electronics markets.

New material could finally enable fast, efficient and dense SOT-MRAM devices

SOT-MRAM (spin-orbit torque MRAM) has the potential to challenge STT-MRAM, as it is a faster, denser and much more efficient memory technology. Up until now, though, no suitable material that features both high electrical conductivity and a high spin hall effect was developed.

Now researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a new thin film material made from bismuth-antimony (BiSb) that is a topological insulator that simultaneously achieves a colossal spin Hall effect and high electrical conductivity - which means it could be used to create SOT-devices.

Multi-layered Co/Ni films are highly desirable materials for effective spin transfer torque

Researchers from the University of Lorraine in France have discovered that multilayers films made of cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) hold great promise for STT-MRAM applications.

Multi layered cobalt and nickel films for spintronics

It was already shown before that Co/Ni multilayers have very good properties for spintronics applications, but up until now it wasn't clear if the films have a sufficiently large intrinsic spin polarization, which is necessary to create and maintain spin-polarized currents in spintronic devices. It was now shown that the films have a spin polarization of about 90% - which is similar to the best spintronic materials.

ARM will launch an eMRAM compiler for Samsung's 28nm FDSOI process by the end of 2018

ARM announced that it is developing a compiler for embedded MRAM (eMRAM) for use with Samsung Foundry's 28nm fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) integrated circuit manufacturing process. ARM completed its first eMARM IP test chip tape out, and the compiler will be available for use by lead partners in 4Q18.

ARM says that the eMRAM compiler can generate instances to replace Flash, EEPROM and slow SRAM/data buffer memories with a single non-volatile fast memory – particularly suited for cost- and power-sensitive IoT applications. The eMRAM can be integrated with as few as three additional masks, while embedded flash requires greater than 12 additional masks at 40nm and below.

Imec researchers deposited SOT-MRAM devices on 300 mm wafers

Researchers from Imec fabricated spin-orbit torque MRAM (SOT-MRAM) devices on 300mm wafers using CMOS compatible processes. The researchers say that these devices offer unlimited endurance, fast switching speeds and low power consumption.

Imec says that SOT-MRAM can overcome the limitation of spin-transfer torque in MRAM memories, but up until now it was only demonstrated in a lab. The core of the SOT-MRAM is a magnetic tunnel junction in which a thin dielectric layer is sandwiched between a magnetic fixed layer and a magnetic free layer. SOT-MRAM devices feature switching of the free magnetic layer done by injecting an in-plane current in an adjacent SOT layer, unlike STT-MRAM where the current is injected perpendicularly into the magnetic tunnel junction and the read and write operation is performed through the same path.

Researchers develop a process to form single-crystal CMRs on metal wires

Researchers from Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) developed a new process, based on 3D stacking, that forms a single-crystal TMR device on a polycrystal metal wire.

3D TMR-MRAM stacking process (AIST)

The stacking process creates the TMR thin-film on a single-crystal silicon wafer and then bonds it to a CMOS on another wafer. This opens the way to using these materials in high-performance MRAM devices. The single-crystal TMRs reduces the variation in the device and can enable smaller TMRs. The researcher say that it will take up to 2 years to completely develop the new 3D stacking process.

Everspin reports its financial results for Q1 2018

Everspin announced its financial results for Q1 2018 - revenues reached a record $14.9 million as product revenues grew more than 40% compared to Q1 2017 and as Everspin received an upfront 3D sensor license fee with Alps Electric. Net loss in Q1 was $1.3 million, down from $6.1 million in Q1 2017.

At the end of the quarter, the Everspin had $33.9 million in cash and equivalents (up from $13 million in Q4 2017). In February 2018 Everspin raised $24.5 million in a secondary offering. Everspin expects revenues in Q2 2018 to be in the range of $10.9 million to $11.3 million.