MRAM-Info: the MRAM experts

MRAM-Info is a news hub and knowledge center born out of keen interest in MRAM memory technologies.

MRAM is a next-generation memory technology, based on electron spin rather then its charge. Often referred to as the "holy-grail of memory", MRAM is fast, high-density and non-volatile and can replace all kinds of memories used today in a single chip.

Recent MRAM News

ITRI transfers its 200 mm SOT-MRAM technology to chipmakers in Taiwan

Digitimes reports that Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has been developing spin-orbit torque MRAM (SOT-MRAM) for many years, and is now transferring this technology to local chipmakers in Taiwan.

According to Digitimes , ITRI has established a platform for its SOT-MRAM technology certification and trial runs on 8-inch wafers. The report does not detail which companies are licensing ITRI's technology.

Researchers add YSZ layers to MRAM devices to increase efficiency and speed

Researchers from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have managed to drastically incraese the speed of MRAM devices while reducing the power consumption by adding a layer of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) to MRAM devices.

KIST ultra-low power and high-speed MRAM prototype

The YSZ layer, which has high ion conductivity helps inject hydrogen ions into the MRAM cell. This resulted in an increase in the speed of the spin alignment direction changes 100-fold.

Successful MRAM Production Requires Good Magnetic Test Equipment

This is a sponsored post by Integral Solutions Int'l

MRAM is likely to be the most promising next-generation non-volatile memory technology today. Toggle MRAM and STT-MRAM are already entering the market, gaining market share in many applications. Next-generation MRAM technologies, such as SOT-MRAM could enable the replacement of even the fastest SRAM applications, with higher densities.

MRAM Manufacturing Process Flow (Coughlin)Source: Coughlin Associates, 2019

The MRAM production process has many stages, as device architecture is relatively complex, with a magnetic cell (frontplane) fabricated on top of a CMOS backplane. (use Figure 2 or Figure 3 from Coughlin). Measurement and characterization of devices are highly important, and the production of MRAM memories depend on measurement tools are are specialized for MRAM and STT-MRAM measurements.

New research may hold the key towards antiferromagnetic MRAM

Researchers from the University of Arizona discovered that in common Magnetic Tunnel Junctions (MTJ), there's a thin (2D) layer of Iron Oxide. This layer was found to act as a contaminant which lowers the performance achieved by MTJs, but it may also hold the key to use antiferromagnetism in MRAM devices.

Magnetic Tunnel Junction schematic (UArizona)

The researchers discovered that the layer behaves as a so-called antiferromagnet at extremely cold temperatures (below -245 degrees Celsius). Antiferromagnets are promising as these can be manipulated at Terahertz frequencies, about 1,000 times faster than existing, silicon-based technology. This is the first research that shows how Antiferromagnets can be controlled as part of MTJs and in the future may pave the way for its adoption in MRAM devices.

Everspin reports excellent results for Q1 2020

Everspin Technologies announced its Q1 2020 financial results, - with revenues of $10.1 million, up from $9.7 million in Q4 2019 and $10 million in Q1 2019. Net loss was $1.7 million, down from $3.1 million in Q4 2019. Everspin expects the growth to continue in Q2 2020 as demand from data center applications continues to be positive.

Everspin 1Gb STT-MRAM chip photo

At the end of the quarter, Everspin had $14 million in cash and equivalents.

MRAM equipment maker Leuven Instruments raises $14 million

China-based semiconductor etching equipment maker Leuven Instruments raised $14 million in its series B financing round from several VCs. The funds will be used to increase the company's team and accelerate its R&D and market expansion.

Leuven Instruments LMEC-200 MRAM Etching System photo

For the MRAM industry, Leuven Instruments offers the LMEC-200 Magnetic-layer Etching Cluster system that integrates ICP etching, IBE etching, in-situ protection and more. In April 2020 the company closed its Series B funding round, raising $14.1 million from several investment firms.