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Multi-Bit Spin For Mram Storage May Rival Flash Memory

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Measured signal during a reading operation for all eight possible states of a 110-nm, 3-bits, self-referenced MRAM cell.

A new multi-bit magnetic random access memory storage paradigm has the potential to rival flash memory, according to the researchers who developed it.

Credit: Quentin Stainer

A group of American and French researchers say they have developed a new multi-bit magnetic random access memory (MRAM) storage paradigm with the potential to rival flash memory.

The researchers focused on Magnetic Logic Unit technology, which can help users remotely control a sensor to probe storage configurations. "Multi-bit storage is typically achieved in MRAM technology by measuring the multiple voltage levels corresponding to various magnetic configurations," says Quentin Stainer, the study's lead author and a Ph.D. student at SPINTEC/CEA. "By identifying key features of the electrical responses we obtain, typically known as 'extrema points,' we can infer the stored information."

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of the method, with up to four bits per unit cells obtained on 110-nanometer-wide devices. Stainer says the storage paradigm should provide an increased robustness and tolerance to process variability, which will make it easier to produce devices based on the technology. "Our work will enable the development of products for a wide range of applications including, but not limited to, secure data storage for connected devices--such as smartcards, content-addressable memory for Internet routers, as well as high-performance, high-density, and high-temperature memory," Stainer says.

From Scientific Computing
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