Jun 13, 2011

NEC Corporation and Tohoku University have developed an MRAM based CAM (content addressable memory) that includes non-volatile storage by using the vertical magnetization of vertical domain wall elements in a cobalt-nickel active layer.  They call this Spin-CAM.

NEC and Tohoku built a 16-kbit Spin-CAM prototype chip (using a 90-nm process). This chip features 5 ns search cycle time, 200-microamps write current and a 6.6 square micron memory cell. Such a CAM may be used to create instant-on electronics and zero-electricity standby modes.

The next step is to reduce the current - to 50-microamps using a cobalt-iron-boron active layer.

NEC has an active MRAM program and is working towards MRAM-based magnetic flip flip (MFF) and MRAM chips. Tohoku University is also collaborating with Hitachi towards MLC STT-MRAM.