At the 64th International Conference on Electronic Devices, Intel and Samsung, two leading semiconductor companies in the world, demonstrated the new technology of embedded MRAM in logic chip manufacturing process.
Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM), a non-volatile storage technology, has been developing since the 1990s. The speed of this technology is close to the high-speed read-write capability of static random storage. It has non-volatility of flash memory, no loss of capacity density and service life of DRAM, but its average energy consumption is much lower than that of DRAM, and it can be written indefinitely.
Intel has said that its embedded MRAM technology can achieve up to 10 years of memory at 200 C, and can achieve persistence in more than 106 switching cycles. Intel describes the key features of STT-MRAM nonvolatile storage in its 22 FFL process. Intel calls it“The First FinFET-based RAM Technology”。
This technology can be equivalent to“Production readiness”At this stage, Intel did not disclose the process information to any OEM customers, but from multiple sources, this technology has been used in the goods currently being shipped.
As for Samsung, it also calls its 8Mb MRAM's endurance capacity 106 times, with a memory period of 10 years. Samsung technology will initially be used for Internet of Things applications. Yoon Jong Song, chief engineer at Samsung Research and Development Center, said reliability must be improved before it can be used in automotive and industrial applications. Samsung has successfully transferred technology from laboratories to factories and will be commercialized in the near future.
Samsung also announced on the 28nm FDSOI platform that STT-MRAM is currently considered the best MRAM technology in terms of scalability, shape dependence and magnetic scalability.
As the storage industry moves towards smaller nodes, it is facing severe scalability challenges in technology. MRAM is considered not only as a candidate to replace traditional memory chips DRAM and NAND, but also as an attractive embedded technology to replace flash memory and embedded SRAM.
The main reason is that it has fast read and write time, high durability and excellent retention. Embedded MRAM is considered particularly suitable for applications such as Internet of Things devices and catches up with 5G generation trains.
As manufacturing costs decline and other storage technologies face scalability challenges, embedded MRAM is gaining more attention from consumer products. Importantly, with the development of new technology, the size of SRAM unit will not shrink with the remaining technology. From this point of view, MRAM becomes more and more attractive.