Select Customers Now Sampling 4 Mbit Nonvolatile Memory DeviceOct. 27, 2003 - Motorola, Inc. has produced the world's first 4 megabit (Mbit) magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) chip. Select customers are currently evaluating samples of this advanced memory technology. This technology milestone is further evidence of the viability of MRAM, which potentially can replace multiple existing memory technologies.
MRAM could initially enter the market in applications that require speed, reliability and low power. MRAM is suited for applications that value the ability to do high-performance writes with unlimited read-write endurance, low write energy and/or data retention with no energy. In several instances, MRAM could lower the number of component parts and provide more reliability and competitive system cost to the customer.
Motorola has obtained several patents for its approach to information storage. These patents cover multiple aspects of the bit cell structure, programming method and circuit design. The discoveries exploit unique magnetic characteristics of the technology, and make MRAM easier to manufacture. Three of the most fundamental challenges facing MRAM implementation - bit selectivity, data retention and scaling - are addressed with this technology. The improved bit selectivity allows the writing of information anywhere in the memory without disturbing previously stored data. The exceptional data retention allows stable, long-term storage of information. Scaling to smaller geometries allows designers to pack more cells into a smaller area, resulting in lower cost.