Everspin pushes ST-MRAM to 256Mbit

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Everspin Technologies has used the Flash Memory Summit to announce that it is shipping samples of the first memory to use perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (pMTJ) based ST-MRAM. The 256Mbit DDR3 compatible device is said to be the highest density perpendicular ST-MRAM available commercially.

Joe O’Hare, director of marketing, claimed the announcement as a breakthrough on a couple of fronts. “Not only are we sampling a 256Mbit pMTJ based device, it is also being made on a 300mm line at GlobalFoundries. Being able to manufacture this memory on a 300mm line is very exciting.”

According to Everspin, this is the third generation of its MRAM technology and the provision of DDR3 compatible interface will allow it to be designed into high performance enterprise systems.

O’Hare claimed the part offered the ‘highest write performance’. “The technology can support 1.5million IOPs,” he said, “and this shows how enterprises can apply it to speed applications. And the DDR3 interface will make it easy to design ST-MRAM into existing applications as these are already DDR3 based.” According to Everspin, the write performance is ‘100,000 times faster’ than NAND flash.

The pMTJ variant sees switching taking place perpendicularly to the plane. Benefits include scalability and lower power consumption, said O’Hare. “The approach needs less current to create the magnetic moment, allowing a higher bandwidth and faster performance.” He said the technology could scale to the 11nm node and beyond.

The 256Mbit samples have been produced on a 40nm process, but in the in plane format. When volume manufacturing starts next year, users should see a 50% reduction in die size.

Meanwhile, Everspin is now working on a 1Gbit pMTJ device with a DDR4 interface.