Everspin Technologies has announced its status as the world's first supplier of Spin-Torque Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (ST-MRAM), a high-performance, ultra low latency memory aiming to transform the future of storage architecture.
According to a press release from Everspin
, the company's 64 Mb (8MB) EMD3D064M module, set for broad availability in 2013, is the first Storage Class Memory (STM) of its kind that will act as a bridge for conventional memory.
“The properties of ST-MRAM are particularly appealing to the enterprise SSD market because of its ability to enhance and complement flash memory technology,” said Joseph Unsworth, research vice president at Gartner. “The commercialization of this technology is an important industry milestone that should continue to drive SSD proliferation in data center and in-memory computing architectures.”
Everspin will offer the first semiconductor memory combing the speed and endurance of DRAM without the volatility of flash, the release reads. The company's proprietary Spin-Torque Technology uses a spin-polarized current for switching, while data is stored as a magnetic state rather than an electronic charge.
Rick Burgess notes that while the new technology is said to be 500 times faster than current SSDs, it is also, like most new technologies, still prohibitively high in cost for use by itself, up to 50 times current flash offerings. ST-MRAM is also power intensive:
"According to Everspin, the 64GB NAND chips commonly found in SSDs use about 80mW of power. Compare that to the 400mW required to fuel just a 1GB ST-MRAM chip and it's clear there's some progress to make before ST-MRAM can become a mainstream alternative for today's flash storage," Burgess writes.
The release from Everspin does state that the company is working with design partners to ensure that necessary tools and support, such as memory controllers, memory modules (DIMMs), and evaluation platforms are all in place for the rapid adoption of ST-MRAM.