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Renesas, startup Grandis team on spin torque transfer MRAM

Posted: 16 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:yoshiko hara? renesas? grandis? magnetic ram? mram?

Renesas Technology Corp. and startup Grandis Inc. said that they will collaborate to develop magnetic RAM for the 65nm generation using Grandis' spin torque transfer writing technology.

Combining the technologies, Renesas intends to develop mcu and soc devices with the MRAMs using a 65nm process and to start offering them in several years.

The MRAM has fast read/write, unlimited endurance and non-volatility features, making it a top contender among next-generation memories. Data is retained as the magnetized orientation of a magnetic-tunnel junction.

Most MRAMs now being developed are based on magnetic-field datawriting, which applies the magnetic field generated by a current running through a wire near a tunneling-magnetoresistance (TMR) element to change the magnetization. That enables fast operation, but consumes a lot of power.

Grandis' spin torque transfer (STT) method, on the other hand, is said to consume less power and offer better scalability. An STT-RAM writes data by aligning the spin direction of the electrons flowing through a TMR element. Data writing is done by using a spin-polarized current, with the electrons having the same spin direction.

MRAMs rolling
Renesas is already developing MRAMs with conventional magnetic-field data-writing technology. But, said Tadashi Nishimura, deputy executive general manager of the production and technology unit, "in view of factors such as the need to reduce writing instability and lower current requirements, we feel that spin torque transfer is a more appropriate technology for future MRAMs produced using ultrafine processes. Grandis has world-class spin torque transfer technology."

In a statement, Grandis CEO William Almon said, "We're pioneers because we were the first to incorporate spin torque transfer technology into the structure of memory cells used in MRAMs."

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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