TSMC moves to MRAM for scratchpad memory

TSMC moves to MRAM for scratchpad memory
Technology News |
TSMC is preparing a variant of magnetic RAM that could be inserted into its 14nm FinFET process to replace SRAM as scratchpad memory in system chips.
By Nick Flaherty


Leading foundry TSMC is looking to move away from SRAM static memory to the lower power MRAM memory in future designs. 

The technology roadmap was shown at the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) persistent memory and computational storage (PMCS) summit and marks a disruptive shift in technology. It may come about as a way of achieving an area shrink over six-transistor SRAM arrays but because MRAM is a non-volatile memory that retains data when power is removed could stimulate innovation in processor architectures.

A presentation (see video below) on trends in nonvolatile memory technologies discussed the status of phase-change memory, resistive RAM, ferroelectric RAM and MRAM.

TSMC embedded MRAM roadmap. Source: Coughlin and Handy.

This showed an SoC roadmap slide from TSMC which labelled the embedded MRAM option at 22nm as eMRAM-F. It also shows the offer of embedded RRAM at 22nm and embedded PCM albeit with the insertion point question marked. It is notable that the roadmap also shows another variant, eMRAM-S, for the replacement of SRAM working memory being offered at the 14nm/12nm node.

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