Design Con 2015
Breaking News
News & Analysis

Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash

8/25/2010 00:21 AM EDT
10 comments
NO RATINGS
More Related Links
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
BalaLak
User Rank
Rookie
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
BalaLak   8/26/2010 3:54:04 AM
NO RATINGS
MRAM competes against non-volatile RAM (non-volatile SRAMs from CY, battery-backed RAMs from Maxim and FRAMs - not sure who makes this). It is not appropriate to compare MRAM against flash (even NOR flash), at least not yet. Two reasons - price and density - they are nowhere near flash. You use these (MRAMs & nvSRAMs) when your application absolutely demands no loss of data and state of operation in case of a power loss. The interesting part is that MRAMs and nvSRAMS use very different technologies, so any sudden improvement (disruptive) in one is very difficult for the other to beat.

Rob@GEHS
User Rank
Rookie
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
Rob@GEHS   8/25/2010 8:23:41 PM
NO RATINGS
Don't forget there are 2 types of "flash" - NAND flash (as used in SSDs) - accessed in blocks, and NOR flash which is accessed like RAM. Clearly, MRAM is not going to replace SSD technology any time soon. But, for NOR flash applications, say on-chip with a micro-controller, you have some advantages. It read AND WRITES as fast as SRAM, but it doesn't require power to maintain the data. So, take for example, a low power application that does analog sensor data capture but only comes on periodically. It could power off almost completely in between and save power. This may sound like a "niche" right now, but more applications are requiring lower power every day.

jg_
User Rank
Rookie
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
jg_   8/25/2010 7:27:48 PM
NO RATINGS
MRAM is a long way behind flash, and flash is a moving target, so MRAM will be niche for years yet. Flash used to called slow, but SSD's now read like this : * 4GB-64GB * SATA * 160 MB/sec sequential read and * 100MB/sec sequential write speeds. * 16mm x 20mm x 1.85mm Not much room there for MRAM, so that leaves NV ram applications.

resistion
User Rank
CEO
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
resistion   8/25/2010 5:43:25 PM
NO RATINGS
MRAM's primary advantage is it can cycle pretty much indefinitely. So while Flash memory esp. MLC wears out sooner and needs to be replaced, the MRAM saves the user more money by not needing to be replaced so often. PCM, RRAM and FeRAM also share this same advantage. Another thing to note is that a larger cell shape (8F^2 or larger) may scale down F to smaller areas more easily than a more basic 4F^2 cell shape.

selinz
User Rank
Manager
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
selinz   8/25/2010 3:00:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Non-volatility, lower power, and high speed will enable MRAM to carve out a niche. Sounds like 3D guy is skeptical about size... 1.3F2 is pretty hard to beat... An old Moto paper (http://www.asensio.com/Report-images/MRAM/MOTMRAMpaper.pdf) claims 1 transistor per for the stacked memory layers. With a 40nm domain, where does that end up in the area calc? Put differently, how much of the 6F2 in DRAM is the storage cell?

3D Guy
User Rank
Manager
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
3D Guy   8/25/2010 3:04:07 AM
NO RATINGS
Saying MRAM will challenge flash is hyperbole. MRAM doesn't work with a diode based selector, so we're looking at a DRAM like cell (best case) with a cell size of 6F2. Considering this and the bad array efficiency (due to 49uA current) compared to 1.3F2 3 bits per cell flash, we're looking at much lower densities compared to flash. The NAND flash roadmap will mostly continue for many more years with standard NAND and 3D NAND... I can't imagine MRAM replacing it at all, other rewritable materials are better candidates. At best, MRAM could play a role in some parts of today's non-volatile SRAM market.

greenpattern
User Rank
Rookie
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
greenpattern   8/25/2010 2:45:29 AM
NO RATINGS
Pretty sure MRAM is non-volatile. The issue is MRAM has many materials which need to be stacked just right, it is more complicated than Flash to make.

greenpattern
User Rank
Rookie
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
greenpattern   8/25/2010 2:43:15 AM
NO RATINGS
With charge storage, we didn't have to worry about spurious magnetic fields. But charge loss is itself an issue. PCM avoids charge loss and magnetic field issues but too bad it is temperature sensitive.

Sanjib.A
User Rank
CEO
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
Sanjib.A   8/25/2010 2:33:19 AM
NO RATINGS
A few days back another article on MRAM, titled "MRAM startup MagSil tips technology" was published on this website (http://new.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4206303/MRAM-startup-MagSil-tips-technology), from where I came to know that Everspin Technologies has already sold its MRAM products as drop-in replacement for SRAM. As I understand MRAM memory is volatile, it needs to have other advantages in order to challenge non-volatile FLASH.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
re: Perpendicular MRAMs challenge flash
krisi   8/25/2010 2:03:31 AM
NO RATINGS
Spintronics is a very exciting field that *might* change future of some electronic devices. But to my knowledge this is still in deep R&D development phase. Anyone knows any developments close to commercial reality?

Most Recent Comments
sempaiscuba
 
mithrandir
 
sempaiscuba
 
sempaiscuba
 
sempaiscuba
 
sempaiscuba
 
sempaiscuba
 
sempaiscuba
 
sempaiscuba
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Top Comments of the Week