Samsung Electronics announced on March 6 that it has commenced mass production of its first commercial embedded magnetic random access memory (eMRAM) product based on the company’s 28-nanometer(nm) fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) process technology, called 28FDS.
As eFlash has faced scalability challenges due to a charge storage-based operation, eMRAM has been the most promising successor since its resistance-based operation allows strong scalability while also possessing outstanding technical characteristics of memory semiconductors such as nonvolatility, random access, and strong endurance. With today’s announcement, Samsung has proved its capability to overcome technical hurdles and demonstrated the possibility for further scalability of embedded memory technology to 28nm process node and beyond.
Samsung’s 28FDS-based eMRAM solution offers unprecedented power and speed advantages with lower cost. Since eMRAM does not require an erase cycle before writing data, its writing speed is approximately a thousand times faster than eFlash. Also, eMRAM uses lower voltages than eFlash, and does not consume electric power when in power-off mode, resulting in great power efficiency.
Furthermore, since an eMRAM module can easily be inserted in the back-end of the process by adding the least number of layers, it has less dependence on the front-end of the process for easy integration with existing logic technologies, such as bulk, fin, and FD-SOI transistor. With this plug-in module concept, customers can enjoy the benefit of reutilizing existing design infrastructure even with this added new technology, eMRAM, and saving costs at the same time.
By combining with 28FD-SOI for better transistor control and minimizing leakage current through body-bias control, Samsung’s eMRAM solution will provide differentiated benefits for a variety of applications including micro controller unit (MCU), internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI).
“We are very proud of this achievement in offering right embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) technology after overcoming complicated challenges of new materials.” said Ryan Lee, vice president of foundry marketing at Samsung Electronics. “By integrating eMRAM with existing proven logic technologies, Samsung Foundry continues to expand its eNVM process portfolio to provide distinct competitive advantages and excellent manufacturability to meet customers and market requirement.”
A ceremony to celebrate this first shipment of eMRAM product will be held on March 6 at Samsung’s Giheung campus, Korea. Samsung plans to expand its options for high-density eNVM solutions, including a tape-out of 1Gb eMRAM test chip within this year.