Why MRAM? Why Now?

The energy cost of moving data in and out of solid-state memory dominates that of computation. While this has been known for many years at a chip level where the CPU shares the same piece of silicon as the SRAM cache, it has now been shown to be the most significant portion of total system energy use where the data movement involves transactions with the system’s DRAM. The startling result that greater than 60% of system energy is used in this way is a call to action.

As bad luck would have it, this realization is happening precisely at the same time as we approach a looming SRAM catastrophe. While SRAM has been the workhorse of cache memory on the compute chip, it is now scaling at a much reduced rate in the advanced CMOS technologies. In addition, all the techniques to reduce leakage current through the SRAM at both transistor and chip level are close to being exhausted.

CMOS Technology Node (nm)

The semiconductor industry is not far off from the situation where no more cache memory can be placed with the compute cores on the same chip. This means that the likelihood of DRAM transactions will increase with a dramatic rise in system energy.

“How Spin Memory is using MRAM to solve the scaling and power problems of today’s memories.”
Tom Sparkman (CEO) is interviewed by Actual Tech Media

MRAM Replace SRAM? Issues Need To Be Addressed.

SRAM needs to be replaced and it needs to be replaced very soon. MRAM is the only new memory type that has the endurance and attractive cell size to do so. There are however fundamental issues that need to be solved before it can take on this mantle as the on-compute-chip cache memory of choice.

  • SRAM-like endurance levels (> 1013) at low Write Error Rates
  • Low current switching to reach SRAM-like switching energies
  • Symmetric Read and Write memory operations
  • Random access

Spin Memory Delivers Solutions That Work.

Spin Memory has developed patented materials and design techniques that solve these issues once and for all. This will usher in the era of magnetic memory dominated compute chips and allow the systems companies to control energy use for years to come. Additional benefits include:

  • Cache memory non-volatility to allow real “Dark Memory” where whole memory systems can be turned off without losing data and requiring DRAM transactions
  • Magnetic DRAM solutions where levels of non-volatility can dramatically reduce the energy needed for DRAM refresh
  • Storage-Class Memory solutions based on magnetics

Enabling The Next Generation Of Memory.

Spin Memory’s STT-MRAM technologies enable the next-generation of embedded and stand-alone memory products:

  • The PSCTM structure increases pMTJ efficiency by 40 to 70% — enabling higher data retention while reducing write current
  • The Endurance EngineTM design architecture that enables up to 6 orders of magnitude improvement in endurance while enabling SRAM-like Read and Write speeds
  • Unique pMTJ technologies enable ultra high-density pMTJs with faster Read/Write speeds
  • Ultra high-density 3D/MLC technologies are the basis for the company’s future products for DRAM and Storage-Class Memory replacement

Videos

“The implications of advanced MRAM technologies”
Andy Walker, Ph. D. (VP Product) is interviewed by Actual Tech Media

“A look inside Spin Memory’s lab”
Mustafa Pinarbasi, Ph.D. (CTO and SVP of Magnetics Technology) is interviewed by Actual Tech Media

Resources

Spin Memory Teams with Applied Materials to Produce a Comprehensive Embedded MRAM Solution

See the Press Release

Using MRAM in Place of SRAM

See the White Paper

MRAM Can Be >10,000X More Write-Energy Efficient Than Flash

See the White Paper