Infineon, IBM show prototype 16M-bit magnetic RAM

Infineon Technologies and IBM have demonstrated a prototype 16M-bit MRAM (magnetic RAM) chip, bringing the power-saving technology one step closer to commercial availability, the companies said on Tuesday.

MRAM is a non-volatile memory technology that can store information for an extended period of time without power. The technology is seen as a future replacement for flash memory, another type of non-volatile memory, in mobile applications, such as cell phones, and could even supplant volatile DRAM (dynamic RAM) in PCs further down the road.

Made using magnetoresistive materials, MRAM stores data by applying a magnetic field that causes memory cells to enter one of two magnetic states. By comparison, existing memory technologies, such as flash, SRAM (synchronous RAM) and DRAM, use an electric charge to store data.

Besides its non-volatile characteristics, another attractive feature of MRAM is cost. Unlike flash memory, which requires a specialized CMOS process to manufacture, MRAM chips can be produced using standard CMOS processes. This could make MRAM cheaper to manufacture if yield rates -- the percentage of working chips produced on a single silicon wafer -- are high.

MRAM is expected to first be used in mobile applications as a replacement for flash. At some point in the future, MRAM could also replace SRAM and DRAM, which is cheap to manufacture but is slower than MRAM and requires a constant power supply to retain stored data. Using MRAM instead of DRAM in notebooks PCs could help extend battery life, according to Infineon and IBM.

Infineon and IBM have been working together to develop MRAM chips since 2000 and the technology could be available within a few years, they said in a statement.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?