Freescale debuts magnetic memory

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Freescale debuts magnetic memory

MRAM promises to combine best of Flash and disk storage worlds.

Freescale Semiconductor has started volume production of the world's first Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM).

The memory chips combine the speed of traditional RAM memory with the magnetic storage capability of a hard drive, allowing it to retain data when power is switched off.

Traditional static random access memory (SRAM) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips that are used for computer memory require constant power to retain their data. Flash memory for use in digital cameras and portable music players doesn't require constant powering, but offers significantly lower data transfer rates.

Until recently, personal digital assistants for instance only used SRAM memory, causing the unit to erase all stored data if the battery was depleted.

The new memory technology will allow for new classes of electronic devices by allowing for improvements in size, cost, power consumption and system performance. Freescale touted application in gaming, networking, security and data storage applications.

The MRAM devices are available in volume as of today, Freescale said. The current model operates on 3.3 volt and offers 35 nanosecond read and write cycle times. It is manufactured using 200 millimeter lithography technology in Arizona.
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