Motorola Produces World's First 4 Mbit MRAM Chip

Motorola Semiconductor

Select Customers Now Sampling 4 Mbit Nonvolatile Memory Device

Oct. 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.
4Mb MRAM Die Photo
MRAM combines non-volatility with incredible endurance and speed. In many appliances, electronics systems, and consumer devices, MRAM could replace multiple memory devices. Designers may benefit from reduced system complexity, lower overall system cost, and improved performance. MRAM's reliability and long-life may make it well-suited for applications in harsh environments or requiring long system life such as automotive and industrial. Recognizing MRAM's potential, Honeywell recently licensed Motorola's MRAM technology for military and aerospace applications.

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.

About MRAM
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.

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