Building An MRAM Array


MRAM is gaining traction in a variety of designs as a middle-level type of memory, but there are reasons why it took so long to bring this memory to market. A typical magnetoresistive RAM architecture is based on CoFeB magnetic layers, with an MgO tunneling barrier. The reference layer should have zero net magnetization to make sure that it doesn’t influence the orientation of the free lay... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 15


Probabilistic computing Researchers at Purdue University and Tohoku University built a hardware demonstration of a probabilistic computer utilizing p-bits to perform quantum computer-like calculations. The team says probabilistic computing could bridge the gap between classical and quantum computing and more efficiently solve problems in areas such as drug research, encryption and cybersecurit... » read more

Magnetic Memories Reach For Center Stage


Wearable heart rate sensors. Networked smoke detectors. Smart lighting. Smart doorbells. While desktop computers and even smartphones are powerful standalone tools, Internet of Things devices share a need to collect data from the environment, store it, and transmit it to some other device for action or further analysis. In many systems, data storage and working memory account for the majorit... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Everspin and Seagate inked a patent cross-licensing agreement, including the assignment and licensing of MRAM patents from Seagate to Everspin as well as licensing of specific Tunneling Magnetoresistance (TMR) patents from Everspin to Seagate, which will be used in HDD read/write head technology. Subaru utilized ANSYS' SCADE suite for critical control systems to design and validate embedded ... » read more

Using Memory Differently To Boost Speed


Boosting memory performance to handle a rising flood of data is driving chipmakers to explore new memory types and different ways of using existing memory, but it also is creating some complex new challenges. For most of the semiconductor design industry, memory has been a non-issue for the past couple of decades. The main concerns were price and size, but memory makers have been more than a... » read more

Process Control For Next-Generation Memories


The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are driving the need for higher speeds and more power-efficient computing. The industry is responding by bringing new memory technologies to the marketplace. Three new types of memory in particular—MRAM (magnetic random access memory), PCRAM (phase change RAM) and ReRAM (resistive RAM)—are emerging as leading candidat... » read more

Will In-Memory Processing Work?


The cost associated with moving data in and out of memory is becoming prohibitive, both in terms of performance and power, and it is being made worse by the data locality in algorithms, which limits the effectiveness of cache. The result is the first serious assault on the von Neumann architecture, which for a computer was simple, scalable and modular. It separated the notion of a computatio... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and materials Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. With the acquisition of Kokusai’s semiconductor equipment unit, Applied expands its customer base and gains a foothold in the batch processing equipment business, where a tool can process wafers in parallel. Applied’s strength is in the ... » read more

New Applications Call For New Memory Types


The semiconductor industry is on the verge of a transformative computing era driven by Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, achieving the improvements in computing performance and efficiency needed for new AI and IoT applications represent some of the biggest technology challenges the industry has faced. Among the most critical requirements is del... » read more

Memory Options And Tradeoffs


Steven Woo, Rambus fellow and distinguished inventor, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about different memory options, why some are better than others for certain tasks, and what the tradeoffs are between the different memory types and architectures.     Related Articles/Videos Memory Tradeoffs Intensify In AI, Automotive Applications Why choosing memories and archi... » read more

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