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Spin Transfer Technologies and Tokyo Electron announce engineering collaboration

Spin Transfer Technologies (STT) and Tokyo Electron (TEL) have signed an agreement for a collaborative engineering programme for next-generation SRAM and DRAM-class ST-MRAM devices.

The agreement is intended to advance ST-MRAM, a new class of high-performance, persistent memory devices, to provide much improved levels of speed, density, and endurance.

The agreement brings together STT’s ST-MRAM technology and TEL’s advanced PVD MRAM deposition tool which will allow the companies to develop processes for the highest density and endurance devices quicker.

Both have said that they are allocating resources to this project, with STT contributing its high-speed, high-endurance perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (pMTJ) design and device fabrication technology, and TEL its industry-leading ST-MRAM deposition tool and knowledge of unique formation capabilities of magnetic films.

SRAM is pervasive in nearly all mobile, computing and industrial applications. It is a fast and high-endurance memory, but is costly, has a tendency to drain a lot of power and tends to be volatile. ST-MRAM, being more compact, is less costly, requires little power when storing data and is non-volatile, retaining data for long periods without power.

Further improvements especially in terms of fast switching and endurance are needed, however, to fully match or exceed SRAM performance.

STT and TEL are looking to demonstrate solutions that will be far denser than other ST-MRAM solutions while eliminating barriers to replacing SRAM. These sub-30nm pMTJ’s, 40 to 50 percent smaller than other commercial solutions, should be attractive to advanced logic–ICs and a significant step toward making DRAM-class ST-MRAM devices.

“Industries have outgrown the capabilities of SRAM and DRAM leaving the market open for the next generation of technology,” said Tom Sparkman, CEO of STT. “Having TEL, the world’s leading ST-MRAM deposition equipment supplier, as a partner speeds up the development of STT’s technology for replacing SRAM and DRAM. We believe the adoption of ST-MRAM will materially exceed current expectations, and we are excited to work with TEL to revolutionise the ST-MRAM market by achieving the speed, density and endurance the industry needs.”

“Together with STT’s team of experts, device fabrication know-how and its on-site development fab, we expect to accelerate the development of high-performance, high-density MRAM devices for the SRAM market and ultimately the DRAM replacement market,” said Yoichi Ishikawa, vice president, PVD Dept. of TEL’s Thin Film Formation Business Unit.”

Neil Tyler

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