Samsung Electronics has begun production of magnetoresistive random-access memory (MRAM), one of the future semiconductors, using the foundry process. MRAM is expected to change the landscape of the semiconductor market as it is as fast as DRAM and, like NAND flash, keeps the data even when the power is off.
Samsung Electronics announced on March 6 that it has started mass production and commercial shipment of embedded MRAM(eMRAM) solution in a production line based on a 28-nanometer fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) process. The company held a ceremony at Giheung Campus to mark the first shipment of the new memory product.
This solution eliminates the need to erase data during data recording and achieves a write speed of about 1,000 times faster than conventional flash memory. Samsung said that since it keeps the stored data when the power is off and does not use additional standby power, it also has excellent power efficiency.
Samsung Electronics combined the FD-SOI process with embedded design technology. In the FD-SOI process, a silicon wafer is covered with an insulating film, forming a transistor on the top. It is characterized by a significant reduction of the leakage current generated during the operation of the transistor. The company added an embedded memory technology to the FD-SOI process. The embedded memory technology is a memory module that serves as information storage in system semiconductors like microcontroller unit (MCU) and system-on-chip (SoC) used in small electronic devices.
Samsung Electronics said the solution has a simple structure and can be implemented by adding a minimum number of layers to the current logic process-based design, reducing the burden of making a new design on the companies in demand and lowering the production cost. Samsung plans to expand its embedded memory solution, starting with the production of 1 Gbe MRAM test chip this year.
Industry analysts say that Samsung Electronics will increase its foundry sales with the launch of eMRAM, while fortifying its competitiveness in processing to secure the leadership in the future semiconductor market.
Samsung Electronics plans to establish the 18-nm FD-SOI eMRAM process next year.