Tokyo Electron and Tohoku University to partner on STT-MRAM research

Tohoku University plans to open a new program for international academic-industrial collaboration on integrated electronics R&D in spring 2013. Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) announced it will participate in the STT-MRAM research program, and will also develop manufacturing equipment technology for the program.

TEL has been collaborating with the university on Spintronics memory technology since December 2011, and apparently are also developing STT-MRAM STT-MRAM production equipment technology and integration technology together.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 29,2012

A*STAR researchers shed light on STT-RAM chip production temperature trade-offs

Researchers from A*STAR have posted an interesting study about STT-RAM production process. In particular, they say that it's already known that the annealing temperature controls the change in resistance between parallel and anti-parallel magnetizations. The higher the annealing temperature, the better larger the resistance change - but if the temperature is too high it drops.

The researchers now looked at an entire cell, and found out that the annealing temperature that yielded the maximum resistance variation exceeded the temperature necessary for maximum thermal stability.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 05,2012

Nanounity to distribute's MSI's QSW-Gen3 STT-MRAM/HDD Quasi-Static Wafer tester

Nanounity says it has signed a Sales & Marketing agreement with Mountain Scientifics (MSI). Nanounity will promote the MSI QSW-Gen3 Quasi-Static Wafer tester product and associated accessories such as a patented magnet & probe card arrangement with In-Plane and Perpendicular Fields for the testing and characterization of STT-RAM devices and HDD recording heads.

The QSW-Gen3 (initially released in 1999) is the first and only commercially available tester for STT-RAM and HDD production.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 10,2012

MicroSense sees increased orders for its new MRAM metrology system

MicroSense says that they see an increase in orders for its MRAM magnetic metrology systems. MicroSense's metrology tools characterize the magnetic properties of multi-layer wafers used in the development and manufacturing of perpendicular MRAM. They offer a 300mm Polar Kerr (out-of-plane) MRAM metrology system, the KerrMapper (in-plane) tool and Vibrating Sample Magnetometers (VSM) for MRAM makers.

The company has been selling Gen-1 MRAM metrology tools since 2004. They say that now, with the recent developments in STT-MRAM, they see a number of new MRAM tool orders.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 21,2012

ISI released the world's first fully integrated STT-MRAM wafer-level analyzer

Integral Solutions International (ISI) released today a new wafer-level analyzer for STT-MRAM characterization, the WLA-3000. They say that this is the world's first commercially available and fully integrated solution to address the needs of production level testing of STT-MRAM wafers.

The WLA-3000 includes proprietary magnets, pulse generator module, probecard interfaces, and measurement electronics that were all specifically developed by ISI. ISI says they already shipped several of these testers which have now been qualified for high volume production testing of STT-MRAM devices.

Read the full story Posted: May 24,2012

Singulus receives orders for two new TIMARIS systems

Singulus Technologies announced it has recieved two new orders for TIMARIS vacuum deposition systems. TIMARIS systems can be used for MRAM development or research, it's not clear what will those new systems be used for. Singulus did say that they already received orders for four TIMARIS systems in 2012 in different configurations. The total order value for 2012 is apparently over €13 million.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 07,2012

Singulus sees increased MRAM activity by large semiconductor companies

Singulus Technologies says that in the past couple of months they have noticed "increased activities in the area of MRAM memory by large semiconductor companies". The company expects MRAM development to progress and they consider themselves to be in an exceptional starting position for the upcoming growth market of MRAM memory. Their TIMARIS vacuum coating machines are already used by customers to develop MRAM wafers.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 25,2011

Crocus to start mass-producing TAS-MRAM in 2H 2011

Crocus announced that they have successfully integrated their Thermally Assisted Switching (TAS)-based MRAM technology into TowerJazz’s 0.13-micron CMOS process. Crocus hopes to get samples manufactured in the "very near future", with mass production starting in 2H 2011. The first chips will probably offer 1-Mbit of storage. TowerJazz and Crocus have been working towards TAS-MRAM production since June 2009.

To achieve this milestone, a number of critical technological problems were solved, particularly in the areas of deep submicron lithography of magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) stacks and the selection of materials for high device reliability. The newly developed technology adds only four masks to conventional CMOS manufacturing flows and is suitable for both standalone and embedded memory applications. The integration into TowerJazz’s copper-based 130nm CMOS logic process sets the stage for the market introduction of leading edge single chip memory products and embedded MRAM IP blocks to be used in complex Systems-On-Chip (SOC) for microcontroller, automotive and communications applications.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 11,2010