Everspin Technolgies is reporting record growth for 2011, with MRAM product shipments increasing over 300% from the prior year.
The MRAM pioneer continues to shape the market for magnetic memories; gaining further momentum with over 250 design wins in the past year.
Everspins patented MRAM technology is based on a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) storage element that is deposited on top of a standard logic process.
The MTJ contains a fixed layer that is always polarized in one direction, separated from a free layer by a tunnel barrier. When the free layer is polarized in the same direction as the fixed layer, the MTJ exhibits a low resistance across the tunnel barrier. When the free layer is polarized in the reverse direction, the MTJ has a high resistance. This magnetoresistive effect allows MRAM to read data quickly without altering the memory state.
The MTJ at the cross-point of two metal lines is polarized (written) when the magnetic fields from currents flowing through two metal lines become sufficient to switch the MTJ. This is accomplished at SRAM speed.
One benefit of the MTJ storage element is magnetic polarization does not leak away like an electric charge. Data can be retained for long periods of time at extended temperatures. The second benefit is that switching the magnetic polarization between the two states does not involve actual movement of electrons or atoms, thus no known wear-out mechanism exists.
Everspin MRAM is used as journal memory on LSI RAID controller cards featuring 6Gb/s and 12Gb/s SAS storage connectivity. MRAM chips are also included on LSI reference designs for third party RAID cards and RAID-on-Motherboard (ROMB) solutions.
LSI is focused on adding the most advanced technologies to our enterprise storage offerings to provide customers with highly reliable and cost-effective RAID solutions that minimize datacenter down time, said Kelly Bryant, vice president of marketing, RAID Storage Division, LSI. “Everspin’s MRAM solutions provide the reliability, fast access and enterprise endurance our customers have come to expect from LSIs market-leading data protection solutions.
MRAM has gained acceptance as a superior alternative to non-volatile SRAM for RAID controllers, allowing Everspin to capitalize on its unique position as a high-volume MRAM supplier, said Jim Handy, analyst with Objective Analysis. The company’s impressive progress this past year is proof of OEMs’ increased interest and readiness to use MRAM in diverse applications.
Could MRAM be the next generation of design for future storage devices, including SSD’s? The complete press release is available in a PDF format here.