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

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

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.

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?