MUNICH -- Motorola's semiconductor group is planning a commercial debut for its innovative magnetic RAM technology late in 2003 when it expects to start sampling customers.
In an interview with EETimes Fred Schlapak, president and chief executive of Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector said Motorola, Philips and STMicroelectronics, the three companies collaborating more generally on process technologies at ST facilities in Crolles, France, would complete the non-volatile memory technology within the next 18 months (see November 12 story). However, Schlapak said that Motorola would start sampling customers with embedded MRAM products at the end of 2003.
Magnetic RAM, being researched by Motorola, IBM and Infineon Technologies amongst others, holds promise as a high-density non-volatile memory and potential replacement for flash memory, although concerns have been raised about the consistent manufacturability of the ultra-thin magnetic layer used within the MRAM memory cell structure.
Schlapak did not give an indication of the size of MRAM array being planned by Motorola for its embedded products or the application to which it would be applied. Cell phones which currently use multiple memory types -- flash, SRAM and DRAM -- on separate die, is one area that Motorola is familiar with and which could, in theory, benefit from an innovative high-density non-volatile memory.