Samsung researchers are first to demonstrate MRAM-based in-memory computing

Researchers from Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), have demonstrated what they say is the world’s first in-memory computing based on MRAM, targeting next-generation AI chips.

The researchers explain that In-Memory computing is a new paradigm that seeks to perform both data storage and data computing in a memory network. In such a computing system, a large amount of data, stored in the memory network, can be executed in a highly parallel manner. Power consumption in such systems is substantially reduced.

In-Memory computing using RRAM and PRAM memory technologies have been demonstrated before, but this is the first time that such a platform have been shown that is based on MRAM technologies. The main challenges came from the low resistance of MRAM, which limits the power reduction advantage of in-memory systems. The Samsung researchers solved this issue by an architectural innovation.

The researchers succeeded in developing an MRAM array chip that demonstrates in-memory computing, by replacing the standard, ‘current-sum’ in-memory computing architecture with a new, ‘resistance sum’ in-memory computing architecture, which addresses the problem of small resistances of individual MRAM devices. Samsung’s research team subsequently tested the performance of this MRAM in-memory computing chip by running it to perform AI computing. The chip achieved an accuracy of 98% in classification of hand-written digits and a 93% accuracy in detecting faces from scenes.

The researchers have also suggested that not only can this new MRAM chip be used for in-memory computing, but it also can serve as a platform to download biological neuronal networks. This is along the line of the neuromorphic electronics vision that Samsung’s researchers recently put forward in a perspective paper published in the September 2021 issue of the journal Nature Electronics.

Posted: Jan 13,2022 by Ron Mertens