Intel is developing embedded MRAM technologies

Intel says it will present a new paper detailing its MRAM research at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in early December 2018. This is the first time we hear of any MRAM R&D at Intel which is great news, even if it just a research paper.

Intel MTJ array 22nm (Oct 2018)

Intel has apparently successfully integrated embedded MRAM into the company's 22nm FinFET CMOS technology on full 300mm wafers. The magnetic tunnel junction-based memory cells are built from dual MgO magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) separated by a CoFeB-based layer in a 1 transistor-1 resistor (1T-1R) configuration in the interconnect stack. Intel has manufactured a 7.2Mbit array with reported data retention figures in excess of 10 years and write endurance of greater than 10^6 cycles.

Coughlin: MRAM and STT-MRAM revenues will reach $3.3 billion by 2028

Tom Coughlin posted an interesting overview of the 2018 MRAM Developer day, which is well worth a read. Besides the conference report, Coughlin also updates on its market estimates - the market for MRAM and STT-MRAM memory solutions will experience fast growth - growing from $36 million in 2017 to about $3.3 billion in 2028. This growth will be at the expense of SRAM, NOR flash and some DRAM.

Memory revenue projection (2016-2028, Coughlin)

The demand for MRAM memory will result in an increased demand for MRAM production equipment, of course. MRAM equipment revenues will reach $792 million by 2028, according to Coughlin Associates.

Researchers develop a sub 10-nm STT MTJ

Researchers from UC Berkeley and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology developed sub 10-nm STT MTJs that shows a thermal stability factor of more than 80.

The reserachers say that the highly efficient and dense MTJ could lead to higher efficiency and density STT-MRAM devices and spin-based computers.

Everspin reports its financial results for Q2 2018

Everspin announced its financial results for Q2 2018 - with revenues of $10.8 million (up from $8.9 million in Q2 2017) and a net loss of $6.6 million (up from $5.2 million in Q2 2017).

Everspin STT-MRAM banner image

At the end of the quarter Everspin had $32.7 million in cash and equivalents. Everspin expects revenues in the next quarter to be between $10.6 million and $11 million.

IBM introduces its latest 19.2TB enterprise SSD drivers with Everspin's STT-MRAM

A couple of days ago, Everdisplay disclosed its first major design win with a "top enterprise storage vendor" for its 40nm 256Mb STT-MRAM chips. We now know that this vendor is IBM - as it introduced its latest-generation enterprise SSD FlashSystem, which indeed includes Everspin's STT-MRAM.

IBM 2018 FlashSystem spec slide

Using MRAM instead of DRAM memory enabled IBM to remove the relatively large supercapacitors (used to make the DRAM non-volatile) and so the company was able to reduced the size of its drives and switch to a standard 2.5-inch U.2 drive form factor. The new FlashSystem SSDs support up to 19.2TB of 64L 3D TLC NAND. IBM's system uses a 20-channel NAND interface and a four-lane PCIe 4.0 host interface that can operate in dual-port 2+2 mode.