Challenges In Making And Testing STT-MRAM


Several chipmakers are ramping up a next-generation memory type called STT-MRAM, but there are still an assortment of manufacturing and test challenges for current and future devices. STT-MRAM, or spin-transfer torque MRAM, is attractive and gaining steam because it combines the attributes of several conventional memory types in a single device. In the works for years, STT-MRAM features the ... » read more

Comparing New Memory Types


After decades of research and development, three new types of memory—magnetic RAM (MRAM), phase change memory (PCRAM) and resistive RAM (ReRAM)—are moving toward commercial adoption, making this an exciting time for the semiconductor and computing industries. All three of these emerging memories are enabled by new materials and will require breakthroughs in process technology and manufactur... » read more

More Memory And Processor Tradeoffs


Creating a new chip architecture is becoming an increasingly complex series of tradeoffs about memories and processing elements, but the benefits are not always obvious when those tradeoffs are being made. This used to be a fairly straightforward exercise when there was one processor, on-chip SRAM and off-chip DRAM. Fast forward to 7/5nm, where chips are being developed for AI, mobile ph... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

Memory Startups To Watch


The next-generation memories are finally ramping up after years’ of delays and promises. Intel, for one, is shipping 3D XPoint, a next-generation technology based on phase-change memory. In addition, the big foundries are readying embedded MRAM. And, of course, there are a number of other players in the next-generation memory arena. There are also a number of startups that are flying un... » read more

Next-Gen Memory Ramping Up


The next-generation memory market is heating up as vendors ramp a number of new technologies, but there are some challenges in bringing these products into the mainstream. For years, the industry has been working on a variety of memory technologies, including carbon nanotube RAM, FRAM, MRAM, phase-change memory and ReRAM. Some are shipping, while others are in R&D. Each memory type is di... » read more

Embedded Flash Scaling Limits


Embedded nonvolatile flash memory has played a key role in chips for years, but the technology is beginning to face some scaling and cost roadblocks and it’s not clear what comes next. Embedded flash is used in several markets, such as automotive, consumer and industrial. But the automotive sector appears to be the most concerned about the future of the technology. Typically, a car incorpo... » read more

What’s Next In Neuromorphic Computing


To integrate devices into functioning systems, it's necessary to consider what those systems are actually supposed to do. Regardless of the application, [getkc id="305" kc_name="machine learning"] tasks involve a training phase and an inference phase. In the training phase, the system is presented with a large dataset and learns how to "correctly" analyze it. In supervised learning, the data... » read more

A New Memory Contender?


Momentum is building for a new class of ferroelectric memories that could alter the next-generation memory landscape. Generally, ferroelectrics are associated with a memory type called ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs). Rolled out by several vendors in the late 1990s, FRAMs are low-power, nonvolatile devices, but they are also limited to niche applications and unable to scale beyond 130nm. While... » read more

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