IBM, Samsung Put New Spin on MRAM
LAKE WALES. Fla—On the 20th anniversary of its invention at #IBM Research, fabled nonvolatile “universal” magnetic random access memory ( #MRAM ) is getting an upgrade. IBM announced today (July 7) that, in collaboration with foundry-giant #Samsung, it is using a spin-transfer torque (STT) design on its MRAM. Faster than flash and as dense as dynamic random access memory (DRAM), this universal memory genre is now being readied for manufacturing with a final round of material optimization and engineering finesse at IBM (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.). IBM says its STT MRAM access clocks at 10 nanoseconds and ultra-low-power (7.5 microamps), claiming its MRAM outperforms flash at the speed of DRAM. Applications include everything from tiny Internet of Things (IoT) system-on-chips (SoCs) to vast mass storage systems for servers. 20 years in the making “IBM has been working for 20 years on the magnetic random access memory, or MRAM, starting from a DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Project Agency] funded research project, along with Motorola, on field-switched MRAM,” Daniel Worledge, lead researcher, distinguished research staff member and senior manager of MRAM at IBM Research (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) told EE Times. “IBM’s John Slonczewski invented the spin-torque switching method for MRAM back in 1996, but at first we thought the field-switched method was best.” “We switched to the spin torque technique after a #DARPA -funded research project with #Motorola. Now we are celebrating its 20th anniversary after having scaled down the design to 11-nanometer in collaboration with #Samsung ,” said Worledge.