Technical / Research

BAE Systems to Develop Nano-Sensor Technology in Agreement with Micromem

BAE Systems, under an agreement with Micromem, will co-produce nano-sensor technology that will leverage both companies’ expertise for use in military, commercial, and homeland security applications.

As a foundry and business development partner with Micromem Applied Sensor Technologies, BAE Systems’ Microelectronics Center in Nashua, New Hampshire, will further develop Micromem designs and manufacturability for advanced magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) products. The goal is to bring the designs to maturity and begin production of gallium arsenide-based nano-sensors that offer features such as very high-speed and low-power capability, radiation-hardness, and overall robustness.

“Foundry facilities are very expensive, and development work on new products is highly capital-intensive,” said Gino Manzo, foundry director at BAE Systems in Nashua. “This arrangement will advance technology and design maturity for products developed by Micromem by giving both companies the means to produce devices for a wide range of commercial and military uses.”

Micromem Applied Sensor Technologies’ patented submicron nano-sensor, based on MRAM technology, also can be designed for use in highly accurate magnetometers — instruments used to measure the strength and/or direction of magnetic fields — and for threat-detection solutions for defense and homeland security.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 01,2008

Domain Technologies: MRAM8051 Microcontroller development kit with MRAM memory

Domain Technologies announces the availability of the industry's first, royalty-free, synthesizable MCS8051 code-compatible microcontroller netlist library (Developed by Silicon Laude) and software development kit for use with Actel FPGAs that also includes a royalty-free license to implement resulting microcontroller designs in a Tekmos merged ASIC. Implementing a customized 8051 microcontroller in an FPGA is still relatively expensive for volumes of 10,000 to 100,000 pieces. So one of the unique features of the kit is a royalty-free license to implement MRAM8051 designs in a Tekmos merged ASIC, enabling customers to realize substantial cost savings in low to medium production runs compared to FPGAs.

Priced at under $5,000.00, the netlist library is directly compatible with Actel's Libero Platinum and Libero Gold FPGA integrated development environment software, and includes Domain Technologies BoxView Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and real-time debugging software, USB-powered MRAM8051 OLED development card with Freescale 512 kbyte Magneto-Resistive Random Access Memory (MRAM), color OLED graphic display driver C source code, and a bit mapped image transfer GUI that allows developers to easily transfer images directly into the MRAM8051 external data memory via the development card's USB-JTAG interface.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 13,2006

$5.8M MRAM Project Ready to Roll

A $5.8 million project to develop a 300mm production tool for MRAM will kick off this month in the United Kingdom after a year’s delay.
The funding is part of the first round of awards from the Government’s Micro and Nanotechnology Manufacturing (MNT) initiative.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 05,2005

20 chipmakers from Japan and US to co-develop MRAM in hopes to replace DRAM within 3 years

According to Nikkei, over 20 Japanese and US companies have teamed up to develop MRAM technologies, in particular a new mass production method. Participants in this ambitious project include Tokyo Electron (who's merging with Applied Materials), Renasas, Hitachi and Shin-Etsu Chemical from Japan and Micron Technology from the US.

Japan's Tohoku University, a leader in Spintronics and MRAM research, will also join the project. The companies will finance several dozens researchers at the University. They plan to start development in February 2014, and continue to seek more companies from the US and Europe to join. The aim is to complete materials and processes development by 2017 and start mass production by 2018.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 24,2013

A new European project aims to develop a system-level STT-MRAM exploration flow

The EU launched a new project called GREAT H2020 moderated by the CEA-Spintec laboratory that plans to co-integrate multiple functions like sensors, RF receivers and logic/memory together within CMOS thanks to a single baseline technology in the same System on Chip.

MAGPIE process image

One of the project’s final objectives is to develop a system-level simulation and design of a representative IoT platform, integrating this technology. To achieve it, a unique exploration flow is proposed: MAGPIE. MAGPIE stands for Manycore Architecture enerGy and Performance evaluation Environment and has been jointly developed and funded through GREAT and the CONTINUUM ANR French project.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 12,2017

A new method to control magnetism could lead to ultra-fast and more efficient MRAM chips

Researchers from UC Berkeley and UC Riverside developed a new ultra-fast method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals. The researchers say that this could be applied to future MRAM chips, to provide much faster write speeds and more efficient operation.

Ultrafast electrical magnetic switching (UCB + UCR)

The researchers built special circuits to study how magnetic metals respond to electrical pulses as short as a few picoseconds. The researchers found that in a magnetic alloy made up of gadolinium and iron, these fast electrical pulses can switch the direction of the magnetism in less than 10 picoseconds, orders of magnitude faster than any other MRAM technology.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 04,2017

A new method to make MRAM faster and more efficient by bending current

Researchers from Eindhoven's University of Technology (TU/e) managed to use a bending current to change an MRAM "bit". The result is a much more efficient memory write cycle that is also faster than conventional MRAM methods.

MRAM bit change by bending current

The idea is to use a current pulse under the MRAM cell bit which bends the electrons at the correct spin upwards towards MRAM bit. This was achieved before, but using a magnetic field. In this new method, the researchers applied an anti-ferromagnetic material to the top of the MRAM bits, which enabled the requisite magnetic field to be frozen.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 07,2016

A*STAR patents low-density parity-check (LDPC) coding with soft decision decoding for STT-MRAM devices

A*STAR scientists have filed a patent on low-density parity-check (LDPC) coding with soft decision decoding. This is an advanced error correction coding scheme STT-MRAM devices. Hopefully this new scheme will enable more relaxed smaler STT-MRAM designs that can rely on the error-correction.

STT-MRAM devices suffer from cell errors due to imperfections in the fabrication process (variation in the tunneling oxide thickness and cross-section area). The researchers explain that conventional (hard decision) error correction codes do not work very well on STT-MRAM cells. The new soft decision decoding works on the probability of each detected bit as being a 0 or 1 (i.e. soft reliability), and hence has less decoding errors than the conventional hard decision decoding.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 15,2012

A*STAR researchers shed light on STT-RAM chip production temperature trade-offs

Researchers from A*STAR have posted an interesting study about STT-RAM production process. In particular, they say that it's already known that the annealing temperature controls the change in resistance between parallel and anti-parallel magnetizations. The higher the annealing temperature, the better larger the resistance change - but if the temperature is too high it drops.

The researchers now looked at an entire cell, and found out that the annealing temperature that yielded the maximum resistance variation exceeded the temperature necessary for maximum thermal stability.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 05,2012

Advanced memories still struggle in mobiles

Memory research managers themselves have scaled back their rhetoric in the past, avoiding the term universal memory altogether. After a period of exaggerated claims, companies became so quiet about any progress that analysts speculated efforts had been severely scaled back in ferroelectric (FRAM), magnetoresistive (MRAM) and phase-change (PRAM) development.

But managers at Freescale Semiconductor Inc., Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments insist that those programs are alive and kicking, even as they acknowledge that the road is long and uphill for any new memory type.

Read the full story Posted: May 16,2006