Wednesday, July 13th 2011

Hynix and Toshiba Sign Joint Development for MRAM

Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Toshiba Corporation today announced that they have agreed to strategic collaboration in the joint development of Spin-Transfer Torque Magnetoresistance Random Access Memory (MRAM), a fast emerging next generation memory device. Once technology development is successfully completed, the companies intend to cooperate in manufacturing MRAM products in a production joint venture. Hynix and Toshiba have also extended their patent cross licensing and product supply agreements.

Toshiba recognizes MRAM as an important next-generation memory technology with the potential to sustain future growth in its semiconductor business. Hynix has a cutting-edge memory technology, most notably in manufacturing process optimization and cost competitiveness. The collaboration announced today, between two of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers in a promising new technology, is expected to make a significant contribution to the continued progress of the world semiconductor industry.

A number of exceptional features have earned MRAM the status of promising future memory technology. A non-volatile memory, it is also power efficient and operates at ultra-high speed. Applications requiring high-density memory are expected to take advantages of MRAM, and major initial applications are expected in the mobile market, which notably demands low power consumption.

Developing a new technology is always prone to risk. One reason for merging the necessary resources and expertise from Hynix and Toshiba is to minimize risk and to accelerate the pace of MRAM commercialization.

“MRAM is a rare gem full of exciting properties, like ultra high-speed, low power consumption, and high capacity, and it will play the role of key factor in driving advances in memories. It will also be a perfect fit for growing consumer demand in more sophisticated smart phones. MRAM is our next growth platform,” said Oh Chul Kwon, Hynix’s CEO.

“We believe that MRAM has huge potential as highly scalable non-volatile RAM,” said Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Corporate Senior Vice President of Toshiba Corporation, and President and CEO of Toshiba’s Semiconductor and Storage Products Company. “We will strongly promote initiatives in integration of storage solutions including MRAM, NAND, and HDD. The MRAM joint development program with Hynix is one of the key steps to support our efforts.”

Additional Information
Spin-Transfer Torque Magnetoresistance RAM (MRAM):
MRAM is a next-generation memory solution that uses magnetic properties to store data. Unlike DRAM, which distinguishes between 0 and 1 by passing an electron through a capacitor, data in MRAM can be determined by measuring the difference in resistance from magnetization on a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). Data is written and saved by reorienting the magnetization of a thin magnetic layer in a tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) element using a spin-polarized current.
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11 Comments on Hynix and Toshiba Sign Joint Development for MRAM

#1
robal
This is very good news !
There was so much talk over so many years about replacement for venerable DRAM and Flash.

Now, we're one step closer to actually getting next gen memory manufactured and in the market.
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#2
LAN_deRf_HA
Wait, magnetization? Does that mean we're reverting back to having magnetically sensitive devices? I was hoping that eventually I'd be on a SSD and not have to worry about where I store my neodymium.
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#3
RejZoR
Quite frankly i don't care. HDD's are magnetized platters as well and they are just fine. There are other problems around their design (slow random access and low throughputs).
If it has no writing problems like NAND Flash which has to first clear the cells and cells don't degrade over time, yet it still provides high tranfser and access rates, i think there is not much to think about really. Sure i'd prefer a memory that's highly resistant to electro magnetic radiation or in short EMP but hell, i'm fine with MRAM as well.
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#4
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: LAN_deRf_HA
Wait, magnetization? Does that mean we're reverting back to having magnetically sensitive devices? I was hoping that eventually I'd be on a SSD and not have to worry about where I store my neodymium.
You have many large magnetic objects around your house?
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#5
sy5tem
by: Frick
You have many large magnetic objects around your house?
i am a magnet .... i magnetize women..... don't know if it will break computer tho! lol
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#6
cheesy999
by: LAN_deRf_HA
I was hoping that eventually I'd be on a SSD and not have to worry about where I store my neodymium.
HD drives have 2 Highly powerful neodymium magnets built in to them, these things are actually Very resistant to magnets these days, presuming these will be at last as tough as HDD, then you should have no problems unless your work in a place that has some incredibly powerful industrial magnets and you put down your stuff very close to the machinery
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#7
dir_d
Is it me or every next gen technology revolve around magnetic fields? From creating quantum computers to recreating atmosphere to block solar flares, they all have magnetic fields in common. I truly feel soon there will be another break through like the PC in the 80s but with magnetic fields and it will change our world forever.
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#8
cheesy999
by: dir_d
Is it me or every next gen technology revolve around magnetic fields? From creating quantum computers to recreating atmosphere to block solar flares, they all have magnetic fields in common. I truly feel soon there will be another break through like the PC in the 80s but with magnetic fields and it will change our world forever.
That breakthrough happened a long time ago and gave us magnetic tape based things which we used up till about 2000

i doubt it will bring anything more to the table because there are only a few fields left in magnetism we don't know much about
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#9
dir_d
by: cheesy999
That breakthrough happened a long time ago and gave us magnetic tape based things which we used up till about 2000

i doubt it will bring anything more to the table because there are only a few fields left in magnetism we don't know much about
well i mean manipulation of those fields for harnessing power, atmospheres and other things.
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#10
Velvet Wafer
youre close, pretty close... with the right technology, and amount of time, we could harvest a nearly indepletable amount of energy from earths magnetism itself, and built crafts, that would move inside their own magnetic field, effectively ignoring usual laws of avionic physics, by circumventing them;)
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#11
LAN_deRf_HA
Yes a hard drive has some resistance to external magnetism, but that doesn't really tell you much about MRAM's sensitivity.
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