Magnetic RAM (MRAM) non-volatile memory components -- in field-induced and spin-torque transition (STT) forms -- are forecast to enjoy a boom over the rest of the decade as they replace DRAMs and SRAMs, according to a report produced by Coughlin Associates.
The power-savings from storing data without requiring power to be maintained to the circuits will drive annual MRAM and STT MRAM revenues to increase from about $190 million in 2013 to $2.1 billion in 2019, according to the report, "2014 Emerging Non-Volatile Memory & Storage Technologies and Manufacturing Report." This is equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 50 percent over the period.
While MRAMs can be built using CMOS logic processes, which is part of their allure for use as embedded non-volatile memory, they require the addition of magnetic material layers and specialized fabrication equipment similar to, or the same as, that used in manufacturing the magnetic read sensors in hard disk drives.
The demand for standalone MRAM components and embedded MRAM will drive a market for MRAM manufacturing equipment from an estimated $52.9 million in 2013 to $246.3 million in 2019, according to Coughlin Associates.
The report includes discussion of PRAM (phase-change), ReRAM, FeRAM, MRAM, STT MRAM, and other technologies such as carbon nanotubes. It concludes that, while resistive RAM (ReRAM) is a potential replacement for flash memory, a transition will not take place until the next decade. Meanwhile MRAM and STT MRAM will start to replace SRAM and DRAM within the next few years and probably before RRAM replaces flash memory.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.