The best of 2016 - top MRAM stories

Dec 27, 2016

2016 is soon over - and this was a very exciting year for the MRAM industry. Everspin floated on the Nasdaq and started sampling 256Mb STT-MRAM chips, other companies also announced and launched MRAM devices, and IBM announced that the "time for STT-MRAM is now". Interest in MRAM technologies is certainly on the rise!

Here are the top 10 stories posted on MRAM-Info in 2016, ranked by popularity (i.e. how many people read the story):

Toshiba and Hynix prototype a 4 Gb STT-MRAM

Dec 20, 2016

Toshiba and SK Hynix co-developed a 4-Gbit STT-MRAM chip, and presented a prototype at IEDM 2016.

Toshiba Hynix 4Gb STT-MRAM mTJ array photo

The prototype chip is made from eight 512-Mbit banks, and the cell area is equivalent to that of DRAM - at 9F2, which Hynix says is much smaller than conventional STT-MRAMs (50F2).

Samsung demonstrates a 8Mb embedded pMTJ STT-MRAM device

Dec 12, 2016

Samsung demonstrated an LCD display that uses a tCON chip that uses embedded 28nm pMTJ STT-MRAM memory, instead of the normally used SRAM. The MRAM device had a density of 8Mb and a 1T-1MTJ cell architecture. The cell size is 0.0364 um2.

Samsung LCD tCON Demo (IEDM-2017)

A tCON chip is a timing controller chip that processes the video signal input and processes it to generate control signal to the source & gate driver of the LCD display. The memory is used a a frame memory which stores previous frame data. Samsung prepared a test chip that contains both SRAM and MRAM memory devices to show that there is no difference between the two. SRAM replacement is a popular MRAM application.

New MRAM book: Introduction to Magnetic Random-Access Memory

This book provides an introduction to MRAM for microelectronics engineers written by specialists in magnetic materials and devices. The book presents the basic phenomena involved in MRAM, the materials and film stacks being used, the basic principles of the various types of MRAM (toggle and STT; magnetized in-plane or perpendicular-to-plane), the back-end magnetic technology, and recent developments toward logic-in-memory architectures.

IMEC researchers demonstrate the world's smallest pMTJ at 8nm

Dec 07, 2016

Researchers at IMEC developed a 8nm perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (pMTJ) with 100% tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) and a magnetic coercive field up to 1,500 Oe in strength. The researchers also demonstrated integrated 1Mbit STT-MRAM 1T1MTJ arrays with pitches down to 100 nm.

IMEC says that this is the world's smallest pMTJ - which paves the way for high density stand-alone MRAM applications. The pMTJ was developed on 300mm silicon wafers in a production process that is compatible with the thermal budget of standard CMOS back-end-of-line technology.

New MRAM book: Non-Volatile In-Memory Computing by Spintronics

This book presents an an energy-efficient in-memory computing platform based on a spintronics design. It details the models of spin-transfer torque magnetic tunnel junction and racetrack memory and shows how spintronics could be a candidate for future data-oriented computing for storage, logic, and interconnect.

The book then describes an implementation of in-memory AES, Simon cipher and interconnect. Finally it demonstrates in-memory-based machine learning and face recognition algorithms.