LONDON – Crocus Technology Inc, a vendor magnetic of RAMs, has announced the development of its so-called Magnetic Logic Unit (MLU) technology. This is an adaption of its thermally assisted magnetic switching (TAS) for use in memory access – in addition to storage –and opens up the possibility of NAND-like memory implemented in MRAM and search memories, the company said.
The innovation will expand the market for magnetic technology by opening up applications in data storage, secure commerce and communications, network processing and automotive and industrial uses, Crocus (Sunnyvale, Calif.) claimed. However, the company did not say how quickly it would move to production or with what types or sizes of memory.
In high-density memory applications, MLU opens the way to implementation of NAND-like configurations in magnetic memory and MLU NAND memory can be two to four times denser than conventional magnetic memory with the added benefit of full random access, Crocus said.
Crocus said its MLU technology can be set in one of three modes by setting the reference layer magnetization, which is normally fixed in a MRAM cell. The three modes are NAND, NOR or XOR.
Crocus' MLU XOR, called Match-In-Place, implements compare and encryption functions, making smart cards, identity cards, SIM cards, and near-field communications (NFC) devices tamper-proof. Match-In-Place also implements the search and compare functions required in network routing applications and can achieve up to fifty times the density of conventional CMOS hardware search processors. In addition, MLU in all its configurations is capable of normal operation at temperatures up to 200 degrees C, making it suitable for use in automotive and industrial electronics.
"MLU has the potential to replace SRAM, DRAM, NAND, NOR and OTP in many stand-alone and embedded memory products," said Bertrand Cambou, executive chairman of Crocus, in a statement. "Because MLU's NOR, NAND and XOR capabilities are built on a single wafer manufacturing process with different design architectures, they can be easily integrated into system-on-chip (SOC) implementations."
MLU is compatible with Crocus' current wafer manufacturing process and Crocus plans to establish volume production of MLU-based products in 130-nm at foundry partner Tower Semiconductor, as well as at its Russian subsidiary Crocus Nano Electronics (CNE) for 90-nm 65-nm, 45-nm, and smaller geometries.
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