Magnetic RAM technology announced

Magnetic RAM (MRAM) is computer memory that uses magnetic properties to store data instead of electricity and the coming avaibility of such chips on the open market has been announced by Freescale.  MRAM requires no electricity to retain data in memory unlike current chips and the possible applications are endless.

"This is the most significant memory introduction in this decade," said Will Strauss, an analyst with research firm Forward Concepts.

"This is radically new technology. People have been dabbling in this for years, but nobody has been able to make it in volume."

Flash memory can also store data without power but MRAM has faster read/ write speeds and does not degrade over time.  Austin-based Freescale has been working on this technology for almost ten years.  It will be interesting to see how the price of VRAM compares to the expensive flash memory.

MRAM features:

  • Single 3.3-V power supply
  • Commercial temperature range (0°C to 70°C)
  • Symmetrical high-speed read and write with fast access time (35ns)
  • Flexible data bus control – 8 bit or 16 bit access
  • Equal address and chip-enable access times
  • Automatic data protection with low-voltage inhibit circuitry to prevent writes on power loss
  • All inputs and outputs are transistor-transistor logic (TTL) compatible
  • Fully static operation
  • Full nonvolatile operation with 10 years minimum data retention
  • (via BBC)