SAN FRANCISCOóEverspin Technologies Inc., a provider of magnetoresistive random-access memory (MRAM), said this week it notched 250 design wins in 2011 and that it has more than 300 active customers.
Everspin (Chandler, Ariz.) said its 2011 MRAM product shipments were more than three times the unit volume it shipped in 2010. But the privately held firm declined to provide numbers.
MRAM is considered a niche technology, though Everspin and others say it is gaining wider acceptance. Critics say its relatively high costs will prevent it from competing meaningfully with mainstream memory technologies like DRAM and flash memory.
A statement released by Everspin Wednesday (Jan. 18) quoted Jim Handy, an analyst with market research and consulting firm Objective Analysis, saying MRAM has gained acceptance as a superior alternative to non-volatile SRAM for disk array controllers.
Everspin's "impressive progress this past year is proof of OEMs' increased interest and readiness to use MRAM in diverse applications," Handy said.
Everspin claims that MRAM enhances data center and networking fault recovery to reduce system downtime and simplifies system design, providing an overall lower total cost of ownership.
Everspin said the major contributor to its 2011 growth was the the enterprise storage, server and networking segment, which accounted for "a significant portion" of its MRAM product shipments. According to Everspin, a number of vendors in this segment, including Dell Inc. and LSI Corp., have turned to MRAM technology for data storage in RAID (redundant array of independent disks) systems, servers and routers.
Dell is currently using MRAM as a journal memory in its RAID storage applications, including Dell PowerEdge servers and PowerVault direct attached storage, as well as Dell EqualLogic storage area network products, according to Everspin.
LSI also uses Everspin MRAM as journal memory in its RAID controller cards, Everspin said. MRAM chips are also included on LSI reference designs for third party RAID cards and RAID-on-motherboard solutions, according to the firm.