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Everspin Targets Niches for MRAM

2018-05-04 10:05:37

Consistent challenge with emerging memories: the volume must go up for the price to come down, and the price has to come down for the volume to go up. Everspin Technologies is hoping, however, that specific industries will favor value over price-per-bit as it ramps up production of its MRAM.
The MRAM pioneer just released an application white paper for its nvNITRO solution being jointly delivered with SMART Modular Technologies. The two companies collaborated on the development of the nvNITRO NVMe storage accelerator and are focusing on jointly developing several vertical markets, the first being the financial technology (FinTech) sector, where nvNITRO can increase data throughput and reduce critical storage bottlenecks, according to Pat Patla, senior vice president of marketing at Everspin.
Patla said the nvNITRO NVMe storage accelerator enables a 90 percent reduction in latency for financial transactions, which helps fintech companies meet compliance rules that often need synchronous logging. This adds latency and creates transaction processing bottlenecks. As outlined in the whitepaper, nvNITRO's ability to reduce latency so significantly enables fintech companies to log transactions faster so they can increase their overall transaction volume, and ultimately, their revenue. Meanwhile, the persistence of STT-MRAM also contributes to necessary compliance as all data logs are protected.
The vertical focus comes as Everspin has started mass-production of its STT-MRAM. The company hit a notable milestone of recording revenue for its first 40nm 256Mb STT-MRAM products in the fourth quarter of 2017 and is ramping its volume production in 2018. There are handful of companies working an MRAM, but Everspin is the only company that's commercially delivering both discrete and embedded MRAM products, thanks in part to its collaboration with GlobalFoundries.
Everspin is touting its 256Mb STT-MRAM as the first ever perpendicular MTJ STT-MRAM entering mass production. Patla said its ST-DDR3 / ST-DDR4 interface was designed to be as close to standards as possible so that customers can easily integrate it into their systems with a couple of tiny changes, primarily to the memory controller. Everspin's STT-MRAM is also NVMe-compliant.
Patla acknowledges that until there's a standard in place, there will be concerns from customers about sole-sourcing the technology. “DDDR5 is where everyone is convening," he said.
The company is focusing on areas where there is a need for fast, persistent memory by offering near-DRAM performance combined with non-volatility. “Flash offers great performance next to rotating media, but against DRAM or MRAM, it significantly slower," Patla said. He describes spin torque MRAM as a three-legged stool comprised of performance, endurance and bit air rate, with non-volatility has the seat.

Keywords:  everspin

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