IBM and TDK today announced a joint research and development program to develop high capacity MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory) technology utilizing the spin momentum transfer effect.
The companies believe that harnessing the spin momentum transfer effect will allow a much more compact memory cell than is possible with present approaches.
The companies will leverage their respective expertise in areas of research for new memory technology and magnetic device development to create a high density, high capacity MRAM integrated circuit which can be used as standalone memory or embedded into other IC solutions.
"This collaborative initiative reinforces IBM's commitment to explore new phenomena for memory applications," said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "The project will focus on creating and demonstrating advanced magnetic materials in demanding memory chip designs."
"This joint research and development will broaden the application of magnetic materials which has been TDK's core technology since 1935," said Mr. Minoru Takahashi, CTO, TDK Corporation.
The research work will be conducted at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA., IBM's ASIC Design Center in Burlington, VT and TDK's subsidiary R&D Center in Milpitas, CA.
MRAM offers significant advantages over competing memory technologies including low power usage, high speed, unlimited endurance (read and write cycles), and inherent non-volatility (retains data without the need for continued power). Market adoption of MRAM has been limited by the inability to cost effectively increase capacity. Spin momentum transfer technology enables MRAM to significantly reduce cell size and thereby increase capacity cost-effectively while maintaining the low power and non-volatility advantages, potentially making MRAM a preferred solution for memory applications in the automotive, cell phone, handheld computing, and industrial controls.