Demonstration of high-speed SOT-MRAM memory cell compatible with 300mm Si CMOS technology

December 09, 2019

Researchers at Tohoku University have announced the demonstration of high-speed spin-orbit-torque (SOT) magnetoresistive random access memory cell compatible with 300 mm Si CMOS technology.

The demand for low-power and high-performance integrated circuits (ICs) has been increasing as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices become more widely adopted. With the present ICs, purely CMOS-based memories such as embedded Flash memory (eFlash) and static random-access memory (SRAM) are responsible for a high proportion of power consumption. In order to lower power consumption while keeping high performance, magnetoresistive random access memories (MRAMs) have been intensively developed. Spin-transfer torque MRAMs (STT-MRAMs) are the most intensively developed MRAM. Major semiconductor companies have now announced that they are ready for mass production of STT-MRAM for eFlash replacement.

Researchers are aiming to replace SRAM with MRAM. For SRAM replacement, MRAM must achieve high-speed operation above 500 MHz. To meet the demand, an alternative MRAM, so-called spin-orbit torque MRAM (SOT-MRAM) was proposed, which has several advantages for high-speed operation. Because of these advantages, SOT-MRAM has also been developed; however, most laboratory studies focus on the fundamentals of SOT devices. To realize SRAM replacement by SOT-MRAM, it is required to demonstrate high-performance of SOT-MRAM memory cell on 300mm CMOS substrate. In addition, it is necessary to develop the integration process for SOT-MRAM, e.g., thermal tolerance against 400°C annealing, which is a requirement of the standard CMOS back-end-of-line process.

The research team led by Professors Tetsuo Endoh and Hideo Ohno - the current president of Tohoku University - has developed an integration process for SOT devices compatible with 55nm CMOS technology and fabricated SOT devices on 300mm CMOS substrates. The newly developed SOT device has simultaneously achieved high-speed switching down to 0.35 ns and a sufficiently high thermal stability factor (E/kBT?70) for the high-speed non-volatile memory applications with robustness against annealing at 400°C. Based on this achievement, the research team has integrated the SOT device with CMOS transistors and finally demonstrated high-speed operation in complete SOT-MRAM memory cells.

These achievements have addressed the issues to make SOT-MRAM practical for commercial applications and thus offer a way to replace SRAM with SOT-MRAM, which will contribute to the realization of high-performance electronics with low-power consumption.

Tohoku University

Related Power Consumption Articles from Brightsurf:

Evolution of consumption: A psychological ownership framework
Technological innovations are rapidly changing how we consume goods and services.

The influence of alcohol consumption among cohabitating partners
Research has linked a partner's or spouse's drinking with changes in alcohol-related behaviors, but few studies have considered only cohabiting relationships.

Competitive people are more prone to drug consumption
A Psychology research team at the University of Cordoba (Spain) studied how personality influences substance abuse among young people.

Estimate of cigarette consumption in England
Estimated total cigarette consumption in England fell by almost one-quarter between 2011 and 2018 in a study comparing survey and sales data.

Energy-efficient power electronics -- Gallium oxide power transistors with record values
The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) has now achieved a breakthrough with transistors based on gallium oxide (beta-Ga2O3).

Clarifying the economic value of adjusting the power consumption
The economic value of demand response that adjusts the power consumption has not been clarified.

Estimating microplastic consumption
Since the mass production of plastics began in the 1940s, the versatile polymers have spread rapidly across the globe.

Reducing water consumption in mining
Plenty of water is needed for beneficiation of mineral ores.

Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new Arthritis Care & Research study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial.

Digital PLL achieves a power consumption of 0.265 mW
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed an advanced phase-locked loop (PLL) frequency synthesizer that can drastically cut power consumption.

Read More: Power Consumption News and Power Consumption Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to