Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho) has extended its development collaboration with Singapore's Data Storage Institute (DSI) on spin-transfer torque magnatic random access memory (STT-MRAM) for three more years.
STT-MRAM is a promising non-volatile memory and Micron has been working with DSI, part of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, since 2011.
DSI has helped Micron establish a technology center in Singapore and helped Micron with the fabrication of STT-MRAM devices. The renewed research collaboration will focus on developing low-power consumption switching mechanisms, and improving the performance of STT-MRAM devices.
Non-volatile memory is becoming more important in the semiconductor industry because it can retain data and state information when power is removed and switching circuits off is the best way to save power consumption. It is becoming important both in mobile equipment and in storage applications and solid-state drives.
STT-MRAM offers high-speed access and long-term data retention. One of the few things that counts against it are issues over integrating magnetic materials in CMOS production lines although this has been successfully demonstrated.
"Over the first three years of our collaboration, DSI has played a direct role in co-innovating with Micron and has proven its relevance as a key center for the development of STT-MRAM," said Pantelis Alexopoulos, executive director of DSI, in a statement. "We are proud to be a partner of Micron on their path towards the development of STT-MRAM," he added.
"We look forward to continuing our partnership with DSI on STT-MRAM technology and exploring new device concepts and new materials that have the potential to enable advanced memory solutions for Micron in the future," said Scott DeBoer, Micron's vice president of research and development.
No indication was given of when discrete or embedded STT-MRAM from Micron might be a commercial reality.
Everspin is already producing a 64-Mbit ST-MRAM product and is looking to produce a 256-Mbit device in 2015. TDK is reported to have shown a prototype 8Mbit STT-MRAM at an exhibition recently. Samsung has a MRAM innovation research project underway with partners.
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IHS memory research