🟩Expectations for MRAM as an alternative to Flash memory
As the limits of semiconductor miniaturization approach, MRAM memory, which is a method different from miniaturization using the properties (spin) of magnets possessed by electrons, is attracting attention.
Features of MRAM
A semiconductor memory that records data with the direction (spin) of a minute magnet formed by the rotation of electrons. It is characterized by “non-volatility” that retains data even when the power is turned off, and is expected to replace existing Flash memory that records with the amount of electricity (charge).
🟩 Low power consumption in embedded applications
MRAM is attracting attention not only for memory alone, but also for applications to be incorporated into microcomputers and CPUs (central processing units).
Low power consumption
Compared to DRAM and SRAM, MRAM can save a lot of power consumption, and has the feature that it can realize high-speed operation in nanoseconds and the same as DRAM. Incorporating MRAM into microcomputers, etc., can be expected to achieve extraordinary power savings in applications such as wearable terminals, edge terminals that are expected to be used for autonomous driving, and AI.
Low mask cost
The number of additional masks required to manufacture embedded Flash memory after the 28nm node is more than a dozen, but with embedded MRAM, it is only necessary to have a few additional masks, so the mask cost is low.
🟩 Popularization has only just begun
Taiwan Solid-State Cable Manufacturing (TSMC) began mass production of computational semiconductors incorporating MRAM in the latter half of 2020. We are considering adopting it in microcomputers for automobiles, and it is expected that it will be used in the core part of smartphones and data centers even later, after it will be fully implemented in peripheral circuits of smartphones with a large market scale.
The reason why MRAM is attracting attention is its low power consumption in embedded applications as an alternative to Flash memory
I think the development of MRAM is an example of how semiconductors still have room to evolve.