Everspin introduces new MRAM chips with a serial interface

Everspin is introducing a new family of MRAM products, with a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus. The new family is called MR24H and includes 256Kb, 512Kb and 1Mb products. These Everspin MRAM devices require no write delay, run at clock speeds as fast as 40 MHz and have unlimited endurance with more than 20 years data retention. 

The MR25H256 (256Kb), MR25H512 (512Kb) and MR25H10 (1Mb) serial MRAM products operate from  2.7 to 3.6 volts while offering low standby and operating currents as well as a 3 uA (typical) sleep mode to further improve the system power consumption. They are byte-organized internally, containing 32KB, 64KB and 128KB of data respectively. Industry-standard serial SPI command codes and timing enable easy connection to existing MCU and system designs. The devices are housed in low profile 8-pin RoHS-compliant DFN packages that are pin-out and footprint compatible with serial EEPROM, Flash and FeRAM products in comparable DFN or SOIC packages.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 16,2009

Avalanche and ISI developed a new wafer level analyzer for STT-MRAM

Avalanche Technology and Integral Solutions International (ISI) have designed a Wafer Level Analyzer, the WLA-3000, to be used in STT-MRAM development.

The WLA-3000 includes specific hardware test modules including nS-range Pulse Generator that quickly measures switching currentse of MTJ devices in STT-MRAM as a function of Pulse Width. Using this Pulse Generator module, customers will be able to perform Error Rate, Switching Probability, Endurance Testing, and Read/Write Disturb analysis in a fraction of time as compared to other slower pulsers.

The WLA-3000 system is fully compatible with ISI’s FMRA-2008 Ferromagnetic Resonance Analyzer to offer the worlds most advanced and complete MTJ sensor analysis.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 09,2009

Riber launches an innovative robotic system in 300mm SEMI process modules

Riber has launched a new innovative robotic system, the MPVD300 reactor.  Based on a high vacuum deposition system (UHV) and compatible with existing silicon FAB industry standards, the MPVD 300 provides unrivalled precision of control and composition uniformity defects of less than 1% over 300mm (monoatomic layer precision).

Riber sayst he new machine willhelp make new ultra-fast microprocessors and high-capacity MRAM.

Fully automated, Riber's MPVD300 is the only modular system for high vacuum deposition that can beconnected up directly to the silicon production line. The first system will be shipped in July to a major manufacturer in Asia.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 02,2009

Crocus buys MRAM measurement equipment from CAPRES A/S

CAPRES logoCrocus announced today that it has implemented CIPtech, the newest tool from CAPRES A/S, for enabling measurements associated with advanced Spin Torque Technology (STT). This unique new tool, designed especially for the MRAM and magnetic recording Read Head industries, enables Crocus to determine tunneling resistance on MTJ films prior to final test. With this upgrade, measurement that used to require weeks of sample preparation can now be performed within minutes.

The CIPTech platform is used for measuring the critically important tunneling resistance and magneto-resistance (RA MR) directly on blanket magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) films for MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory) and magnetic recording Read Head applications. The latest vertical magnetic field capability of the tool allows characterizing next-generation MRAM devices based on Spin Torque Transfer (STT). With this tool, Crocus is now equipped for efficient prototyping and manufacturing of advanced STT.

As we reported last month, Crocus is planning to have MRAM products by the end of the year, and are also working on STT-RAM.


Read the full story Posted: Apr 17,2009

Grandis Opens New Fabrication Facility for STT-RAM

Grandis today announced their 300-millimeter magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) fabrication facility (Fab) in the US dedicated to STT-RAM. Grandis is now able to incorporate STT-RAM into its customers' most advanced semiconductor processes on 300mm wafers.

Grandis' MTJ Fab can now handle both 200mm and 300mm customer wafers. In a multi-million dollar investment, key equipment for depositing and annealing MTJ memory elements, the critical building blocks for STT-RAM, was purchased. Since Grandis' new licensees are often not familiar with fabricating MTJ elements and do not possess the associated fab equipment and know-how, the MTJ Fab's main purpose is enable licensees to incorporate Grandis' MTJ elements into their CMOS wafers at the earliest possible stage in the development cycle, thereby accelerating their STT-RAM development and reducing their time-to- market. The MTJ Fab also enables Grandis to conduct leading-edge R&D on new magnetic materials and MTJ elements targeted at further reducing STT-RAM write current and die size. As these new materials, structures and processes are proven, they are transferred immediately to licensees' production fabs.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 09,2009

World's First 300-mm Ready Ion Beam Deposition System for Spintronics and MRAM Development

Aviza Technology, a supplier of advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, today announced the introduction of StratIon(TM) fxP, the world's first 300-mm ready Ion Beam Deposition system.

The first system was shipped to CEA-LETI-MINATEC in Grenoble, France, one of Europe's foremost applied research centers in electronics and Spintronics. The StratIon fxP will be used to develop next-generation magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ)-based devices for applications including MRAM, hard disk drive read heads or RF components. The system will also be used for the deposition of metal gates for advanced CMOS processes. In addition to the system shipment, Aviza and CEA-LETI have signed a three year joint development program covering the development of MTJ deposition processes for future MRAM and Spintronics devices.

The StratIon fxP system uses ion beam processing for the deposition of metal and dielectric thin films, and is the world's first ion beam deposition system for 300mm wafer manufacturing. Designed for high volume manufacturing silicon fabs, the system is based on production-proven hardware and software platforms and can be configured with three standard chamber types: preclean, oxidation and deposition. Additional Aviza deposition chambers such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) and magnetron PVD can be seamlessly added for additional flexibility. StratIon fxP offers low cost of ownership, high throughput and a smaller fab footprint compared to currently available systems used for MTJ deposition.
Read the full story Posted: Nov 06,2008

Crocus Establishes Prototyping Environment for Next Generation MRAM Technology

Crocus Technologies today announced that it has qualified its complete manufacturing environment for the development and rapid prototyping of MRAM. Building upon conventional 130nm CMOS sourced at a leading foundry, Crocus is leveraging Silicon Valley-based SVTC's capabilities to complete the integration of its second-generation MRAM technology. To complement these two facilities and achieve a complete MRAM manufacturing capability, Crocus has invested more than 5 million Euros to purchase and deploy a full suite of dedicated magnetic-technology wafer processing tools for the deposition, annealing, patterning, and metrology of MRAM memory chips. With this investment and these achievements, Crocus has positioned itself as one of the very few companies in the world capable of fully integrating advanced MRAM onto CMOS.

Crocus' proprietary MRAM technology solves all the well-known problems encountered in earlier MRAM developments. The company's technology has demonstrated its stability, reliability, data retention, endurance, and scalability, while exhibiting high speed, low power dissipation, and excellent resistance to external perturbation.

"We found at SVTC an ideal incubation and development environment," said Jean Pierre Braun, founder and CEO of Crocus Technologies. "SVTC is a modern foundry that provides a broad range of necessary equipment and processes. Furthermore, we have been able to install some of our own equipment in SVTC's clean room, and we have deployed a complete, full-time Crocus team there. This has allowed us to develop and integrate our proprietary MRAM manufacturing process with outstanding efficiency while maintaining full confidentiality of our IP and know-how."

"SVTC's independent development foundry model is a great fit for companies working to commercialize novel technologies as quickly as possible, while maintaining strong intellectual property positions," said Scott Marquardt, VP of Marketing at SVTC.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 13,2008

Samsung and Hynix to launch STT-MRAM JV in September, expect the chip to mature around 2012

Samsung and Hynix are to launch their STT-RAM JV in September (after having announced their intentions in January 2008).

The companies said they will engage in joint research and development (R&D) of spin-torque-transfer magnetic-random-access-memory (STT-MRAM) chips, and become the industry standard-setters for the next generation 450mm wafer fab market.

They added that if the joint R&D venture on STT-MRAM is successful, the companies will be able to fend off Japanese competitors trying to regain dominance in the semiconductor sector and generate an estimated $500 million worth of royalty earnings.

The global market for the new chip is expected to mature around 2012.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 25,2008

Shin-Etsu Chemical develops the world's largest-class permanent magnet-type magnetic circuit

Shin-Etsu Chemical has succeeded in developing a large-size magnetic circuit which will be the world's largest-class permanent magnet-type magnetic circuit. Its total weight is about 10 tons, and it will be used mainly in manufacturing-process applications, such as for the making of next-generation MRAM semiconductors and MR (Magneto Resistive) sensors.

For the manufacturing of MRAMs, heat treatment in a magnetic field is essential, and in that process, generation of a very large magnetic field of more than 1 tesla is required. So far, electromagnets and superconducting magnets have been used for this purpose. However, recently many semiconductor manufacturers are adopting permanent magnet-type magnetic circuits because of their good magnetic-field performance and magnetic-field stability, as well as the fact that these permanent magnet-type magnetic circuits have the advantage of being power-saving and maintenance-free. At the same time, with the trend in recent years toward larger-diameter silicon wafers, the need for these types of larger magnetic circuits has been increasing.

Shin-Etsu Chemical has been manufacturing various large-size magnetic circuits using its rare earth magnets. With its total weight of about 10 tons, cylindrical shape of 1.4-meter diameter and height of 1-meter, the new type of magnetic circuit that Shin-Etsu has now developed is the world's largest-class permanent magnet-type magnetic circuit that generates a strong magnetic field. This magnetic circuit is being introduced ahead of other companies worldwide for application in the processing of 300mm wafers.
Read the full story Posted: Apr 10,2008

BAE Systems to productize Micromem's patented technology

Micromem Technologies is pleased to announce that BAE Systems, the premier global defense and aerospace company, is in the process of transferring the Micromem's MRAM and sensor technology to its Nashua New Hampshire foundry facility. BAE Systems plans to complete the productization of Micromem's technology over the coming months. The focus is for the planned integration of Micromem's patented technology into the BAE Systems military platforms and product pipeline.

Micromem's patented submicron nano-sensor technology can enable and enhance highly accurate magnetometers and "over-the-horizon" threat detection solutions for application in homeland security and defense force protection. The technology is also applicable in enabling solutions in many other areas such as providing early detection and "pre-failure" weak-parts/defect identification in product manufacturing. The intrinsic low-power characteristics of Micromem's technology lend itself to numerous new applications as well as suitability into harsh environments such as those experienced in the aerospace and automotive sector.

Joseph Fuda, President and CEO stated, "This partnership is the ultimate technical validation that Micromem has been looking for. To partner with a global leader such as BAE Systems is the ideal situation for Micromem and the successful productization of our technology. The vast array of applications that BAE Systems can facilitate through its client base will fundamentally change the face of the company and its future."
Read the full story Posted: Apr 01,2008