Breakthrough for ultra-fast magnetic testing of STT-MRAM devices above 2 Tesla

August 01, 2019 // By Nick Flaherty
A second generation magnetic generator that can test STT-MRAM devices in under a second with a vertical field over 2 Tesla.
French startup  Hprobe is demonstrating a magnetic generator that can test Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) for Spin Transfer Torque (STT) Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) devices in under a second with a vertical field over 2 Tesla.

This achievement represents a world premiere and the technology will be integrated in automated test equipment to drastically enhance the sorting flow of STT-MRAM wafers at major 300mm foundries says the company.

STT-MRAM technology is an emerging non-volatile memory with target applications such as Micro Controller Unit (MCU), Internet of Things (IoT) Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G. According to Tom Coughlin, President of Coughlin Associates and co-author of Emerging Memories Ramp Up, by 2029, revenues will approach $4 billion, or over one hundred seventy times 2018’s MRAM revenues.

“Sweeping magnetic field at +/-2 Tesla without any liquid cooling system, and extracting the hysteresis curve of MTJs in less than a second is a breakthrough for STT-MRAM testing and the result of years of research and engineering,” said Siamak Salimy, Hprobe’s CTO. “This is an important step for Hprobe’s customers in their journey to bring STT-MRAM technology at sub-20nm process nodes in mass manufacturing.”

STT-MRAM technology requires devices to be tested under magnetic field to extract characteristic physical parameters critical to assess on quality of operation of the memory. Hprobe‘s new perpendicular magnetic generator is capable of reaching 2 Tesla in a bipolar mode to switch the entire stack of magnetic layers of the MTJ. The ultra-compact generator with a total volume of less than 30cm3 does not require any liquid cooling system and comes with an RF probing system used to perform the hysteresis curves of MTJs in a record testing time.

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