Toshiba Corporation today announced that the company has developed a prototype memory element for a spin transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory (STT-MRAM) that achieves the world's lowest power consumption yet reported, indicating that it has the potential to surpass the power consumption efficiency of SRAM as cache memory.
Like all digital products, mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet PCs, rely on high-speed memory to supply the main processor with essential instructions and frequently requested data. Until now SRAM has provided the cache-memory solution. However, improving the performance of SRAM to match advances in mobile products results in increasing current leakage, both during operation and in standby mode, degrading power performance.
MRAM, a next-generation memory based on magnetic materials, has emerged as an alternative to SRAM because it is non-volatile, cutting leak current during standby status. However, until now MRAM power consumption has exceeded that of SRAM, throwing up a major barrier to practical application.
Toshiba's new memory element advances the company's pioneering work in STT-MRAM and overcomes the longstanding operating trade-off by securing improved speed while reducing power consumption by 90 percent. The improved structure is based on perpendicular magnetization and takes element miniaturization to below 30 nm. Introduction of this newly designed "normally-off" memory circuit with no passes for current to leak into cuts leak current to zero in both operation and standby without any specific power supply management.
Toshiba has confirmed the performance of the new STT-MRAM memory element with a highly accurate processor simulator. This modeled application of an STT-MRAM integrating the memory as cache memory and recorded a two-thirds reduction in power consumption by a standard mobile chip set carrying out standard operating functions, a result confirming that the new MRAM element has the lowest power consumption yet achieved. This clearly points the way toward the first MRAM with the potential to surpass SRAM in practical operation.
Going forward Toshiba expects to bring the new memory element to STT-MRAM cache memory for mobile processors integrated into smartphones and tablet PCs, and will promote accelerated research and development toward that end.
This work includes results from the "Normally-off Computing" project funded by Japan's NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization). Toshiba will present three papers on the new STT-MRAM and its technologies on December 11 and 12 at IEDM, the International Electron Device Meeting held by IEEE in San Francisco from December 10.
Latest News Posts
- No Man's Sky mod lets you travel underwater, and more
- Sony Xperia Z5, Xperia X5 amongst first for Android 7.0
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 features 10-core CPU, costs $135
- HBM3 released by 2020, offers more bandwidth, less power
- Acer rumored to unveil a gaming-oriented smartwatch soon
- Asus Zenbook pro ux501vw touchscreen?
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7 - Is Bigger Always Better?
- Are LianLi case fans any good?
- GAMDIAS Hermes RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
- Really hot idle temps on X99 Extreme 4/3.1
- ADATA launches the ultimate SU800SATA 6Gb/s 3D NAND SSD
- CAPE Audio shakes up the headphone industry with the release of Rebellion Headphones
- Tesoro announces ambidextrous, White Sharur SE Spectrum gaming mouse
- Eurocom launches worlds first GTX 1080 SLI VR-Ready laptop
- Thermaltake new Pacific RGB G1/4 PETG Tube 16mm OD 12mm ID 6 liquid-cooling fittings with 1 RGB LED lighting controller