Freescale expands MRAM Line with World's First 4Mbit Extended Temperature nvRAM and Freescale's First 1Mb Commercial Product

Freescale Semiconductor has expanded its award-winning MRAM family with the world’s first 3-volt 4Mbit extended temperature range (-40 to +105°C) non-volatile RAM (nvRAM) product. This device enables entry into more rugged application environments, such as industrial, military and aerospace and automotive designs.

Freescale also has broadened its commercial MRAM line with a 1Mbit device, offering system designers a density option that addresses the “sweet spot” of the mainstream embedded market. In addition, Freescale plans to expand its MRAM product family to include a total of nine commercial, industrial and extended temperature products during the third quarter of 2007.

MRAM uses magnetic materials combined with conventional silicon circuitry to deliver the speed of SRAM with the non-volatility of flash in a single, unlimited-endurance device. MRAM devices can be used in cache buffers, configuration storage memories, and other commercial applications that require speed, endurance and non-volatility. Freescale’s latest extended temperature range option enables MRAM to be used in industrial and automotive applications in which semiconductor products must be qualified to withstand harsh operating environments and extreme temperature ranges.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 18,2007

Freescale's 4 Mbit MRAM Device Named Product of the Year by Electronic Products Magazine

Freescale Semiconductor, a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors, today announced it was honored with an Electronic Products' Product of the Year award for its 4 Mbit MR2A16A magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) device. Freescale's successful commercialization of this memory technology could hasten new classes of electronic products offering dramatic advances in size, cost, power consumption and system performance.

"The MR2A16A's unique combination of high-speed reading and writing, unlimited cycling and non-volatility made the Freescale device a clear, standout choice for our Product of the Year award," said Jim Harrison, West Coast editor of Electronic Products magazine. "The first memory product of its kind, the MR2A16A fulfills the commercial promise of MRAM technology. Freescale's MRAM product is simpler, more cost-effective and more reliable than other memories since no battery is needed to ensure non-volatility."

Read the full story Posted: Jan 06,2007

Freescale gives MRAM updates

Forty customers have bought samples of the 4M-bit chips, which Freescale sells for US$25 each in sample quantities of less than 1,000. Two of them are now buying production quantities, the company said.

Pricing for production quantities "is negotiated case by case," said Wild. He compared the price of the chips to that of DRAM (dynamic RAM), the memory used in computers. "In 1974, 1M bit of DRAM cost $75,000. Today, it's a small fraction of a cent. There's no reason why MRAM should not make the same evolution, if not faster," he said.

Freescale made the 4M-bit chips using its 180-nanometer process technology, and said it has produced 16M-bit parts in its labs using a 90-nm process. As Freescale reduces the size of the features on the chips, it increases their density and capacity.

"We have shown we can do it down to 65 nm and beyond," said Wild.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 15,2006

Domain Technologies: MRAM8051 Microcontroller development kit with MRAM memory

Domain Technologies announces the availability of the industry's first, royalty-free, synthesizable MCS8051 code-compatible microcontroller netlist library (Developed by Silicon Laude) and software development kit for use with Actel FPGAs that also includes a royalty-free license to implement resulting microcontroller designs in a Tekmos merged ASIC. Implementing a customized 8051 microcontroller in an FPGA is still relatively expensive for volumes of 10,000 to 100,000 pieces. So one of the unique features of the kit is a royalty-free license to implement MRAM8051 designs in a Tekmos merged ASIC, enabling customers to realize substantial cost savings in low to medium production runs compared to FPGAs.

Priced at under $5,000.00, the netlist library is directly compatible with Actel's Libero Platinum and Libero Gold FPGA integrated development environment software, and includes Domain Technologies BoxView Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and real-time debugging software, USB-powered MRAM8051 OLED development card with Freescale 512 kbyte Magneto-Resistive Random Access Memory (MRAM), color OLED graphic display driver C source code, and a bit mapped image transfer GUI that allows developers to easily transfer images directly into the MRAM8051 external data memory via the development card's USB-JTAG interface.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 13,2006

Freescale may take MRAM to the handset

Freescale executives discuss the future of MRAM in mixed-signal platform. MRAM may pose some benefits to those platforms, and we may yet see MRAM in a handset.

Another option is combining MRAM with sensors and logic in a system-in-package implementation. Airbags for example could be a target.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 18,2006

Michel Mayer, CEO of Freescale speaks to Electronics Weekly

“MRAM has the potential to be widely used, it has to go down the cost curve,” replies Mayer. “Today it is niche. There is nothing intrinsically in the technology that says it can’t go down the cost curve. I don’t know of any showstopper why it can’t be widely used.”

But Cypress Semiconductor pulled out of MRAM last year, with CEO, T. J. Rogers, saying that the technology could not be made cost competitive with SRAM. “Ours works,” responds Mayer.

The firm is positioning and pricing MRAM to be a replacement for battery-backed SRAM. However, with a cell size four times smaller than SRAM, the Freescale MRAM has the potential to get considerably denser than the current 4Mbit which is made on a 0.18 micron process. For instance a 90nm process delivers a 64Mbit MRAM.

However, as now constituted, Freescale’s MRAM cell will always be bigger than a NAND flash cell on the same geometry and so MRAM will not compete with NAND flash.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 14,2006

Freescale MRAM - an in-depth examination

Interesting examination of Freescale's MRAM by SemiSerious.

MRAM will not replace DRAM because it is slower, therefore The "instant-on" computer is not around the corner, but MRAM can boot operating systems or other code faster than present-day NOR flash.
The bottom line may be evolution — not revolution as Freescale's new MRAM device seems most suited to critical military and space applications where MRAM has already been deployed at lower resolutions. MRAM is very likely to start to replace NV-SRAM since it must be cheaper to produce a more or less standard die in a standard package than to start adding batteries to the mix.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 10,2006