IBM is one of the largest technology companies in the world, involved in hardware, software, services and research. IBM has produced more research breakthroughs than any other company in the IT industry.
IBM is an MRAM pioneer, collaborating with Infineon and Samsung. In 2016, IBM and Samsung researchers demonstrated 11 nano-meter STT-MRAM junctions.
The latest IBM MRAM news:
IBM is providing a preview of its new STT-MRAM technology. They have produced a 4-Kbit test device, using a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) with MgO tunnel barriers. They say that the new technology could enable a 64-Mbit MRAM (90nm). STT-RAM also uses less power than toggle MRAM.
The STT-RAM is part of the joint-research with TDK, announced in 2007
In two papers published in the April 11 issue of Science, IBM Fellow Stuart Parkin and colleagues at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose describe both the fundamentals of a technology dubbed "racetrack" memory as well as a milestone in that technology. This milestone could lead to electronic devices capable of storing far more data in the same amount of space than is possible today, with lightning-fast boot times, far lower cost and unprecedented stability and durability.
Within the next ten years, racetrack memory, so named because the data "races" around the wire "track," could lead to solid state electronic devices - with no moving parts, and therefore more durable - capable of holding far more data in the same amount of space than is possible today. For example, this technology could enable a handheld device such as an mp3 player to store around 500,000 songs or around 3,500 movies - 100 times more than is possible today - with far lower cost and power consumption. The devices would not only store vastly more information in the same space, but also require much less power and generate much less heat, and be practically unbreakable; the result: massive amounts of personal storage that could run on a single battery for weeks at a time and last for decades.
After partnering with IBM in August, TDK now plans to produce high-capacity MRAM chips in 2008. It plans to make even higher-density chips in 2011.
IBM has linked with Japan's TDK to develop so-called spin torque transfer RAM (random access memory) or STT-RAM. In STT-RAM, an electric current is applied to a magnet to change the direction of the magnetic field. The direction of the magnetic field (up-and-down or left-to-right) causes a change in resistance, and the different levels of resistance register as 1s or 0s.
IBM has recieved a new patent, titled - "New Magnetic tunnel junctions for MRAM devices".
Methods of manufacturing MTJ memory cells and structures thereof. A diffusion barrier is disposed between an anti-ferromagnetic layer and a pinned layer of an MTJ memory cell to improve thermal stability of the MTJ memory cell. The diffusion barrier may comprise an amorphous material or a NiFe alloy. An amorphous material may be disposed adjacent a bottom surface of a tunnel junction, within a free layer, or both. An MTJ memory cell with improved thermal stability and decreased Neel coupling is achieved.
The Magnetic Race-Track Memory, a new concept in magnetic non-volatile memory disclosed by IBM Corp of the US in February 2005, is attracting a great deal of attention. If it can be commercialized as advertised it has the potential to revolutionize the memory architecture for computers and consumer electronics. The high potential performance of the new memory is the key, delivering performance on a par with dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) at the manufacturing cost of hard disk drives (HDD). It supports random access, and offers an infinite number of rewrites. Because no mechanism is required, it can be expected to deliver the same robustness as semiconductor memory.
But practical application is still "five to ten years away," said Stuart SP Parkin, IBM fellow SpinApps and director of IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center at IBM.
The mean access time is about 50ns, which is a little longer than MRAM and roughly the same as existing DRAM.