MRAM Developer Day, IBM Keynote Live Website

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 - Memory, Teknologi

MRAM Developer Day, IBM Keynote Live Website

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01:19PM EDT – Third Keynote in this session is from IBM Research: STT-MRAM is Ready for Applications Today.

01:21PM EDT – In a bit, Discussing the MRAM in IBM FlashCore, a currently available product

01:21PM EDT – Starting with data about STT-MRAM with Samsung

01:22PM EDT – Slonczewski invented STT in 1996. He developed the magnetic tunnel junction in 1974

01:22PM EDT – 2004 developed the MgO tunnel barrier for reading

01:23PM EDT – 2010 Developed perpendicular CoFeB tunnel junctions to make the technology scale

01:23PM EDT – Perpendicular is how all devices are used today

01:23PM EDT – MRAM Applications – Standalone, Embedded, Cache

01:23PM EDT – MRAM is unlikely to replace DRAM any time soon – DRAM is still scaling

01:24PM EDT – Perfect applications are battery backed SRAM, or buffers for storage

01:24PM EDT – Using MRAM to replace embedded flash in MCUs

01:24PM EDT – eFlash doesn’t scale below 20nm

01:25PM EDT – Need a 400C process required to enable it

01:25PM EDT – A couple of years ago, new materials were discovered to make this less of an issue

01:25PM EDT – Using MRAM to replace L3 cache – replacement to eDRAM

01:26PM EDT – 400C process, 4-256 megabit, 1-2ns read/write, unlimited endurance

01:26PM EDT – Also mobile and embedded. The ‘Killer’ app for MRAM. Replacing low speed SRAM

01:27PM EDT – Use co-processor when in sleep using MRAM for low power

01:28PM EDT – Normal MRAM device today is a 2-terminal device. MRAM cell has one transistors.

01:28PM EDT – Looking at 3-terminal devices. New physics ideas can be explored with this type of devices. Spin-Hall effects etc

01:28PM EDT – Other ideas such as voltage control, such as anisotrophy

01:29PM EDT – Downside is losing density, and with memory density is king

01:30PM EDT – Curves are called write-error curves. Error probability vs voltage vias

01:30PM EDT – bias

01:30PM EDT – STT has inherently error rate for bit writing

01:32PM EDT – Has to increase voltage in order to ensure that bit is written – because bias is applied in equilibrium and waiting for thermal effects to knock it out of equilibrium

01:32PM EDT – That data was 120nm with 100ns pulse

01:32PM EDT – Can now show 39nm with 10ns pulses

01:32PM EDT – For MRAM, 10ns is now possible

01:32PM EDT – Compared to 2010: 10x faster, 4x lower power, 4x denser

01:33PM EDT – Below 5ns is tough with 2-terminal

01:33PM EDT – On scaling, can junctions as small as 11nm

01:33PM EDT – Current in MRAM scales with area

01:34PM EDT – Ideas for future development include two reference layers

01:34PM EDT – reduce current by half

01:34PM EDT – MTJ = magnetic tunnel junction

01:35PM EDT – A more complicated structure, but not ready for products today. Perhaps in 5 years

01:35PM EDT – Over next 2-5 years, main gain is going to be density

01:35PM EDT – Smaller devices, lower write current, more efficient materials

01:35PM EDT – Faster writing as well. Current products are 30-50ns pulses, expect 10ns soon (1-2 years), maybe 5ns in 5 years

01:36PM EDT – Can write faster than reading with 3 tunnel devices

01:37PM EDT – Current spec for 125C operation, 150C will be coming soon. No fundamental reason why MRAM can’t operate at 250C.

01:37PM EDT – The tradeoff is that the device has to be hardened at a level of drive currents to enable writes

01:37PM EDT – Now talking about IBM devices using MRAM

01:38PM EDT – FlashCore

01:38PM EDT – Design custom size solutions with FlashSystem

01:38PM EDT – 70mm height, 250-260mm depth

01:39PM EDT – Recent designs (Nov 2017) shows an 18TB module in that size

01:39PM EDT – Next question is how to embed this in other applications. The problem is the custom design though

01:39PM EDT – E.g. the custom form factor left the power control on the system. To scale out to other use cases, need to manage it locally

01:40PM EDT – Enabling this for a common form factor

01:40PM EDT – Moving the long card into a 2.5-inch 15mm form factor

01:41PM EDT – 19.2 TB in a 2.5-inch

01:41PM EDT – Taking a 3 FPGA design from the card into one FPGA

01:41PM EDT – Two years ago we started speaking to Everspin about MRAM

01:42PM EDT – MRAM is a cornerstone to this new drive

01:42PM EDT – Not having to do DRAM to NAND

01:42PM EDT – Started with compnoent level qualification

01:43PM EDT – It all worked – shipping drives to customers in October

01:43PM EDT – Didn’t have enough space for supercaps for the high-power FPGA to commit data

01:43PM EDT – New design has no supercaps by using MRAM

01:44PM EDT – Using a Xilinx FPGA

01:44PM EDT – Design allows the write stream to be compressed into MRAM

01:45PM EDT – Power failure allows the system to harden the MRAM to enable commit at next power on

01:45PM EDT – FPGA has 4GiB of DDR4, 128 MiB of Persistent DDR3, and 8GiB of Flash DDR4 for the FPGA

01:46PM EDT – 2×2 Gen 3.0 NVMe interface. Gen 4.0 capable

01:46PM EDT – No details on IOPS or R/W data

01:47PM EDT – Moving to the MRAM wasn’t as big as a change to the architecture as expected

01:47PM EDT – Hyper scaled – lots of low speed lanes

01:47PM EDT – 20-lane Flash interface

01:48PM EDT – Going forward, density of the MRAM is going to be key. 1Gb will allow some optimizations

01:49PM EDT – On the roadmap is to create a persistent memory region for NVMe

01:49PM EDT – Typically use DRAM today, would like to use the storage memory interface instead

01:49PM EDT – FPGA allows us to implement this if we can sort it, lots of potential in future technology

01:51PM EDT – FPGA is not on-the-fly reconfigurable, but firmware updates include updated RTL

01:52PM EDT – No significant impact into BOM cost for MRAM vs DRAM

01:53PM EDT – On the wishlist for MRAM is endurance, better error rate (the device has ECC engines to help), then capacity

01:55PM EDT – That’s a wrap!

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