The embedded spin-torque transfer (STT) MRAM bit cell has been tuned to withstand high temperatures making it suitable for industrial and automotive applications, Martin Mason, senior director of embedded memory told eeNews Europe. It still provides 10^5 cycles endurance and is effectively intended to be a non-volatile memory replacement for embedded NOR flash code- and data-storage that can scale.

Globalfoundries has one client taped out and several others expected to tape-out in 2020, Mason said. Rival foundry TSMC is also preparing to offer 22nm eMRAM. TSMC had plans to enter so-called “risk production” of both embedded MRAM and embedded ReRAM in chips in 2019 using a 22nm manufacturing process (see TSMC to present 5nm CMOS, 22nm STT-MRAM at IEDM).

Globalfoundries has been making magnetic memory for a while at both the 40nm and 28nm CMOS nodes, but this was mainly as foundry supply agreement to MRAM pioneer Everspin (see Everspin ships 1Gbit STT-MRAM). One or two other companies have been given access including French startup eVaderis, which developed an MRAM-based microcontroller at 40nm (see Startup tapes out MRAM-based MCU).

Today’s announcement demonstrates the scalability of eMRAM at advanced process nodes for Internet of Things (IoT), general-purpose microcontrollers, automotive, edge-AI (Artificial Intelligence), and other low-power applications, Globalfoundries said.
Designed as a replacement for high-volume embedded NOR flash (eFlash), GF’s eMRAM allows designers to extend their existing IoT and microcontroller unit architectures to access the power and density benefits of technology nodes below 28nm.

Next: Robust

The eMRAM offers 10-year data retention across the -40°C to 125°C temperature range and supports AEC-Q100 quality grade 2 designs, with development in process to support AEC-Q100 quality grade 1. It is also rated to operate through 5x solder reflow.

MRAM macros ranging from 4 to 48Mbits mega-bits are available and manufacturing is done at Globalfoundries’ Fab 1 in Dresden Germany.

Globalfoundries said it is working to migrate embedded MRAM to the company’s 12nm FinFET process and 1Xnm FDSOI process.

The combination of RF, logic and embedded non-volatile memory available in a single process with back-bias tenability should be attractive for demanding applications in industrial and automotive sectors, Mason said.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Everspin ships 1Gbit STT-MRAM

Startup tapes out MRAM-based MCU

MRAM startup eVaderis closes, here comes Antaios

Globalfoundries’ Morgenstern: Diversity is key in Dresden

TSMC to present 5nm CMOS, 22nm STT-MRAM at IEDM

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