Print 8 comment(s) - last by thomasxstewart.. on Feb 9 at 5:23 AM

Basic MRAM operates by physically flipping the polarity of ferromagnetic plates - Courtesy IBM
MRAM is smaller and faster than ever before

Yesterday Toshiba and NEC announced two new products; High Density FeRAM and a new RAM technology capable of reading/writing at 200MB/s.  MRAM's largest hurdle since inception has always been competing with write speeds of traditional DRAM. 

The main advantage of MRAM over traditional DRAM or SRAM is that the bits do not require electricity to hold the data state.  DRAM and SRAM both require relatively amounts of electricity to "hold" the bit in place.  Thus MRAM runs on a fraction of the electricity the DRAM and SRAM require.

On the other hand, MRAM has, until now, required a significantly larger footprint than other memory technologies.  FeRAM, or Ferroelectric Random Access Memory, squeezes 64 megabits onto a single chip using 130nm interconnects -- but features the relatively slow cycle time of 60 nanoseconds.  FeRAM also requires much more power than traditional MRAM, but the product may become a moderate compromise between MRAM and DRAM in the future.  FeRAM kind of defeats the principle of MRAM because it uses electrical charges hold the polarity of the ferrous plates, rather than magnetic fields.

The lower density MRAM also announced yesterday also features 130nm interconnects with 240nm memory "cells."  Since this is true MRAM, the memory only requires 1.8V for read / writes.  Unfortunately, since the process is much bigger, the density for this MRAM is only 16 megabits per chip. 

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RE: And...
By redbone75 on 2/8/2006 2:56:24 AM , Rating: 0
After ARAM and BRAM, of course.

RE: And...
By Exodus220 on 2/8/2006 3:08:39 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, what do the A and B stand for in your newly created ARAM and BRAM? I could use my imagination but then you might think I am still in high school...

RE: And...
By niknik on 2/8/2006 5:43:43 AM , Rating: 3
ARAM- Anonymous RAM... so you can safely download all DRM'ed material without fear of being sued by RIAA.

BRAM- Blocked RAM, the first step till we end up with WOM (Write Only memory) - memory you can write to, but never read back... Perfect for NSA and other secret service agencies, so they can deny they ever heard about it.

Now on a more serious side. Static Rams would/ARE welcome, we could finally end up having INSTANT ON, it would obsolete "hibernate-to-disk", the computer would be just as it was before. For laptops it could achieve some pretty important battery life enhancements. You could nearly "shutdown" the entire system between key-strokes... and just use power when really having to.

... But I'm still waiting for those "smart-HDDs" that were supposed to have a flash cache builtin...

RE: And...
By Cullinaire on 2/8/2006 10:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
I thought BRAM was the official RAM of BT

RE: And...
By xelpmoc on 2/8/2006 11:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
BitTorrent or Brian Transeau?

RE: And...
By oTAL on 2/8/2006 6:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't SRAM for static RAM? How come the article says it needs electricity to be maintained...?

By thomasxstewart on 2/9/2006 5:23:03 AM , Rating: 2
NUGGIES: guess you guessed my comment, Must be ESP. Holds STATIC Charge without electrical charge is key point. Main thing is speed they work at & denisty of cells. Having "INSTANT ON" computer is good thing, HEY+ MAybe you'll save without BIOS Batery?

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