Current charge-based semiconductor storage technologies such as SRAM, DRAM, NOR flash and NAND flash face scaling challenges as geometries shrink below 20nm. As a result, a marked increase in research activity focused on alternative memory technologies has occurred over the last decade.
Non-charge storage-based memories such as FeRAM and MRAM offer fast RAM-like performance along with non-volatility and extremely high endurance. Although in commercial production, both suffer from high costs vis-à-vis current technologies and have only been able to address niche applications.
All that is likely to change with the availability of samples of in-plane spin-torque transfer MRAM (STT-MRAM) from Avalanche Technology and Everspin Technologies. These achievements are a stepping stone to next generation perpendicular STT-MRAM which promises a scalable path with the potential to broaden its appeal into mainstream consumer applications. As a consequence, the embedded and standalone non-volatile RAM markets are on the cusp of explosive growth in the next few years.
A Magnetic Moment: Prospects for MRAM Technology, Markets and Applications offers an independent view of the opportunities and challenges presented by MRAM technology and its potential as one of the leading contenders in the emerging memory space.