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Domain wall marks MRAM for next-gen LSI

Posted: 26 Jun 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MRAM? magnetoresistive RAM? memory? LSI?


A newly-developed current-induced domain wall motion writing method for MRAM was unveiled by NEC Corp. and NEC Electronics Corp. Using spin torque and perpendicular magnetization material, the technology is capable of reducing current while writing for a scaled down cell beyond the 55nm process.

The MRAM features current-induced domain wall motion using perpendicular magnetic anisotropy material. Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy enables a cell to carry out the current-induced domain wall motion writing method using spin torque at a low current, which leads to easy scaling down of cell size and creates suitable conditions for next generation system LSI.

The features of the MRAM are:

1. The performance of spin torque depends on current density, which influences writing current and scalability for high speed MRAM when scaling down of the cell proceeds.

2. Both a reduction of writing current and improvement of stored data stability can be achieved due to the fact that the writing current and data stability are designed independently, which is difficult to achieve with conventional spin injection MRAM.

3. Since current-induced domain wall motion elements are three-terminal, they can be structured with two transistors and one MTJ which creates a high speed memory array with separated current path for the reading and writing.

Due to the progress of scaling down cell size and the large capacity of system LSI, power consumption has increased. Market demands now require reduced power consumption, which is partially accomplished by switching off during stand-by mode, a function that requires easy-use non-volatile memory.

The newly developed domain wall motion elements are an advanced technology of spintronics which switches magnetization by domain wall motion with spin polarized current. This successful development shows that high speed MRAM cells can be used to further advance the progress of scaling down size and it has widened the application area of memory changing into MRAM on system LSI. NEC will continue to drive the latest developments in this field.

These developments have been partially funded by NEDO.

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