First, let's take a look at MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory), which is a non-volatile magnetic random access memory. It has high-speed read and write capability of static random access memory (SRAM), as well as high integration of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), and can basically repeat writes indefinitely.
Intel described the key features of STT-MRAM (MRAM-based spin transfer torque) nonvolatile memory in its 22 FFL process. Intel called it "the first FinFET-based MRAM technology."
This technology can be understood as a "ready to prepare" stage, Intel does not disclose the process information like any foundry customers, but from multiple sources, the goods currently being shipped and shipped have adopted this technology. .
At the same time, Samsung described STT-MRAM on the 28nm FDSOI platform. Measured in terms of scalability, shape dependencies, magnetic scalability, etc., STT-MRAM is currently considered to be the best MRAM technology.
MRAM technology has been evolving since the 1990s, but has not yet achieved widespread commercial success. Yoon Jong Song, chief engineer of the Samsung R&D Center and the lead author of the company's IEDM paper, said: "I think it's time for us to showcase our achievements in manufacturing and commercialization."
As the industry moves to smaller nodes, it faces technically challenging scalability challenges. In addition to being considered a candidate to replace traditional memory chips DRAM and NAND, MRAM is also considered an attractive embedded technology that can replace flash and embedded SRAM.
Because it has fast read write time, high durability and strong retention. Embedded MRAM is considered to be particularly well suited for applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Since last year, Globalfoundries has offered embedded MRAM for its 22 FDX 22nm FD-SOI process. But industry analyst Jim Handy said he doesn't know about the commercial applications of Globalfoundries' embedded MRAM technology.
“The reason no one mentions it is because they have to add new materials,” he said.
But as manufacturing costs drop and other memory technologies face scalability challenges, embedded MRAM is gaining more consideration. “The important thing is that with the development of new process technologies, the size of SRAM cells will not shrink with the rest of the process. From this point of view, MRAM is becoming more and more attractive,” Handy said.
In his paper, Intel says its embedded MRAM technology can achieve up to 10 years of memory at 200 degrees Celsius and achieve persistence in more than 106 switching cycles. This technology uses a 216mm x 225mm 1T-1R memory unit.
At the same time, Samsung also said its 8Mb MRAM has a battery life of 106 and a memory period of 10 years.
Song said Samsung technology will initially be used for IoT applications. He said reliability must be improved before it can be used in automotive and industrial applications. “We have successfully transferred technology from the laboratory to the factory and will bring it to market in the near future”.