Samsung has announced that it has begun the mass production of its first commercial embedded magnetic random access memory (eMRAM) product that uses the 28-nanometer (nm) fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) process technology, a process which Samsung abbreviates as 28FDS. The development is notable because eFlash was facing scalability issues but this announcement marks the overcoming of that particular hurdle.
Giving a run down as to why eMRAM was a “promising successor” to eFlash, Samsung said:
“As eFlash has faced scalability challenges due to a charge storage-based operation, eMRAM has been the most promising successor since its resistance-based operation allows strong scalability while also possessing outstanding technical characteristics of memory semiconductors such as nonvolatility, random access, and strong endurance.”
The new eMRAM product offers better power efficiency and speed than eFlash and all at a lower cost. The speed enhancements are present because eMRAM doesn’t have to perform an erase cycle before writing data, making it around 1000 times faster than the older eFlash technology. It is able to cut down on power usage by using a lower voltage and when in power-off mode it doesn’t consume any power at all.
The firm also said that the new hardware uses a plug-in module concept allowing customers to reuse designs with this new technology, saving money and time. Touching on this, Ryan Lee, vice president of foundry marketing at Samsung Electronics, said:
“We are very proud of this achievement in offering right embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) technology after overcoming complicated challenges of new materials. By integrating eMRAM with existing proven logic technologies, Samsung Foundry continues to expand its eNVM process portfolio to provide distinct competitive advantages and excellent manufacturability to meet customers and market requirement.”
Device manufacturers will be able to use the new eMRAM in a variety of products such as micro controller units (MCUs) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.