IBM and Samsung Manufacture MRAM for Low Capacity Memory Devices
IBM and Samsung teamed up and have announced the recent development of a breakthrough product. The new Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) is manufactured to outlast and work 100,000 times faster than NAND flash. The collaboration was issued to produce next generation MRAM that does not ware out. The product is intended for products that use NAND flash for data storing, such as low-capacity memory chips, wearables, and mobile devices.
The team outlined their achievement in IEEE Magnetics Letter, a peer-reviewed journal that covers physics and engineering. The paper addresses how using 10 nanosecond pulses and 7.5 microamperes allowed STT MRAM to measure down to 11 nanometers, something which had not been achieved before.
Senior manager of the MRAM development team, Daniel Worledge compares NAND’s and MRAM’s writing and reading speeds. The new MRAM is a lot more efficient in both capabilities. It takes NAND flash about one millisecond to write data, while it only takes 10 nanoseconds for the MRAM to do the same. This is 100,000 times the difference. On average reading speeds are 10 times faster for the MRAM than NAND as well.
This new research by IBM and Samsung gives Spin Torque MRAM momentum, and pushes for more research to continue with its development which could eventually lead to STT MRAM replacing embedded flash. This could be possible because of MRAMs ability to work faster, unlimited reads and writes, and it is also a lot easier to embed than embedded flash. Because it is not volatile, STT MRAM uses zero power when it is not in use, and very low power while storing data. This is perfect for low power applications that are common in IoT and mobile devices. MRAMS does not wear out or have data retention issues when compared to its competitor. Unlike NAND Flash, MRAM transistors can store new information without deleting the original content.
After 20 years of working on developing MRAM chips, IBM can finally boast about scaling down the product enough to manufacture it for a decent price. Currently, developments for other new memories technologies are underway, which are predicted to replace NAND flash. This list includes ReRAM, Memristor, PCM, FeRAM. For now, the market will have to wait for these products as well as MRAM to be released.
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