Skyera to use Everspin's MRAM in their new flash-based enterprise storage system

Everspin announced that it is providing MRAM technology so Skyera, which will use MRAM chips on its newly announced Skyhawk MLC NAND flash-based enterprise solid-state storage system. This is the industry’s first all solid-state storage appliance that uses MRAM.

Skyer's system is based entirely on 19/20 nanometer consumer Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND Flash at a system price of less than $3 per gigabyte before compression and deduplication. The compact half-depth 1u form factor sports a 44 terabytes of high performance, low latency native capacity. Skyera says that Everspin MRAM allows them to overcome any point of failure within the system memory while providing the best possible performance to supercharge enterprise-class applications.

NVE reports on MRAM research and plans

NVE reported their financial results, and in the conference call they gave some interesting new details about their MRAM program. Daniel Baker (the CEO) says that NVE 'overcame many of the technical challenges in making MRAM'. In fact, the company is already shipped some sample prototype MRAM chips, but they don't call it 'production' yet. The samples will be for specialized niche applications - but the company sees this as a 'vehicle to develop MRAM technology'. In the future the company hopes to address large volume anti-tamper applications such as to prevent identity theft or improve the security of credit cards and smart cards.

In regards to Everspin being a licensee, here's what they say - "EverSpin is a company that's making and selling commercial MRAM, and they are spin-off of Freescale, which was a spin-off of Motorola. So, we have a long historical relationship. Motorola was an early investor in NVE, and we had research contracts and intellectual property agreements with Motorola. So, we believe that they share our vision for a very bright future for MRAM"

Freescale to spin-off MRAM to a new company called EverSpin

Freescale has decided to form a new company called EverSpin, and to give its MRAM technology portfolio to this new company. Several companies (New Venture Partners, Sigma Partners, Lux Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Epic Ventures) will invest 20M$ in the new company.

EverSpin will operate in a portion of Freescale's Chandler (Arizona, US) semiconductor foundry and take on about 50 existing company employees who were associated with the MRAM technology.

Siemens Selects Freescale MRAM for Industrial Automation Touch-Screen Products

Freescale is providing non-volatile MRAM technology for an industrial touch-screen application developed by Siemens' Industry Automation division. Freescale's 4Mbit MRAM device has been integrated into Siemens' Simatic Multipanel MP 277 and MP 377 human machine interface (HMI) used in industrial automation systems.

Siemens chose Freescale's MRAM device for its HMI application because it provides an easy-to-use, non-volatile memory that maintains software-programmable logic controller (SoftPLC) process data for Siemens' HMI platforms without battery-backup. The user-programmable SoftPLC option enables the implementation of a comprehensive, expandable machine control system in a small form factor that helps reduce overall system cost. The multi-panels allow the integration of several automation tasks on a single platform using the SoftPLC.

"Freescale's MRAM device provides the non-volatility, performance and reliability that we need to add user-programmable features to our mid- and high-end display products for the industrial automation market," said Ingmar Binder, project manager for HMI R&D at Siemens Industry Automation division.

Freescale's 4Mbit MRAM device was selected for this rugged industrial application platform after extensive Siemens qualification testing. Key highlights of the Simatic multi-panel HMI series include exceptional connectivity options and a non-volatile alarm buffer that does not require an additional backup battery in the event of an unexpected power loss. The touch screens and keyboards enable the multi-panels to be used for precise, efficient operator control and monitoring.

"Freescale's MRAM technology provides significant benefits, ranging from non-volatility to fast read/write capabilities, for rugged applications such as Siemens' industrial automation systems," said David Bondurant, MRAM product manager at Freescale Semiconductor. "Our customers and their end users demand highly reliable memory products that are designed for critical applications."

Freescsale's MRAM gaining traction, and even goes to space

Freescale is providing MRAM non-volatile memory technology for environmentally harsh applications, such as military, aerospace, industrial and automotive systems. Angstrom Aerospace recently announced the use of Freescale's extended temperature range 4Mbit MRAM in its magnetometer subsystem, which will be launched into space on board a Japanese research satellite.

Angstrom Aerospace is using Freescale's MRAM in its Tohoku-AAC MEMS Unit (TAMU), a magnetometer subsystem for the Japanese research satellite called SpriteSat. In developing the Satellite subsystem, Angstrom Aerospace worked closely with Dr. Johan Akerman, a renowned Swedish professor of material physics and applied spintronics at the Royal Institute of Technology.

"I've worked with MRAM for years, and when it comes to reliability and endurance for data storage, there is no comparison to Freescale's MRAM products," said Dr. Johan Akerman. "Freescale's 4Mbit MRAM device replaces both flash and battery-backed SRAM in Angstrom's module for the SpriteSat. The ability to reconfigure critical programs and route definitions during various stages of a satellite mission is a significant benefit."

TAMU plans to provide SpriteSat with magnetometer data of the Earth's magnetic field. SpriteSat is built by the Tohoku University located in Sendai, Japan, under the supervision of Professor Kazuya Yoshida. Scheduled to be launched in late 2008, SpriteSat's mission is to monitor "sprite" phenomenon (lightning effects) in Earth's upper atmosphere.

Angstrom Aerospace selected Freescale's 4Mbit MRAM device because it combines non-volatile memory with extended temperature operation, unlimited endurance and long-term data retention even when the power fails. The MRAM stores program data and FPGA configuration data on a single memory, allowing Angstrom Aerospace to reduce all storage requirements to one chip, reducing board area. At the same time, the flexibility of MRAM storage allows the system to be reconfigured significantly in space.

"Our extended temperature MRAM provides unique high temperature and high reliability capabilities for rugged system designs, such as the TAMU," said David Bondurant, MRAM product manager at Freescale. "MRAM benefits also extend to the transportation and industrial markets, where Freescale is working with developers who require growing amounts of fast but cost-effective memories that are ideally non-volatile and capable of large numbers of read and write cycles."

In addition to Angstrom Aerospace's MRAM deployment, e2v, a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of specialized components for some of the world's leading OEMs in aerospace and defense, has announced licensing of Freescale's MR2A16A product. The company has released an extended-reliability version with full-performance operations across the entire military temperature range, ideally fulfilling avionics, defense and aerospace application requirements.

E2v redesigns Freescale MRAM for the military

E2v has introduced an MRAM which is an extended-reliability version of the MR2A16A from Freescale Semiconductor.

The EV2A16A operates at SRAM speeds with symmetrical 35ns read and write cycles. Its standard SRAM interface allows a seamless system integration of this memory device by directly connecting to standard memory controllers.

“The EV2A16A is the first device of a new family that is scheduled to be offered with higher screening grades for this 4Mbit device. The company also plans to introduce higher density products within the coming months,” said Eric Marcelot, marketing manager at e2v.

The EV2A16A is available in a standard 44-lead TSOP type II package in both extended (-40 to +110 deg C) and military (-55 to +125 deg C) temperature ranges.

Read more here (ElectronicsWeekly) 

Freescale adds 2Mbit devices to growing MRAM portfolio

Freescale Semiconductor, a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors, has introduced a series of 2Mbit magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) devices, providing designers a broader portfolio of MRAM products for a range of commercial, industrial and automotive applications. The 2Mbit MRAM replaces two current 1Mbit nvRAM parts with a single device designed to help reduce system cost and board area.

E2v and Freescale target aerospace with MRAM

E2v is continuing its microprocessor agreement with Freescale Semiconductor and is considering expanding the scope of the deal to include magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) products.

The agreement supports E2v's production of extended reliability versions of its microprocessors through additional screening, packaging and qualifications to meet military and aerospace standards.

“We also look forward to expanding our portfolio to include MRAM products. They will ideally complement our microprocessor products for embedded applications in severe environments by combining higher speed and increased reliability compared to other non-volatile memory solutions,” said Thierry Gouvernel, general manager of E2v’s microprocessors and services business.