Introduction to magnetic random-access memory by Bernard Dieny, Ronald B. Goldfarb, Kyung-Jin Lee

By Bernard Dieny, Ronald B. Goldfarb, Kyung-Jin Lee

Magnetic random-access reminiscence (MRAM) is poised to switch conventional computing device reminiscence in keeping with complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS). MRAM will surpass all different forms of reminiscence units by way of nonvolatility, low strength dissipation, speedy switching pace, radiation hardness, and sturdiness. even though toggle-MRAM is at the moment a advertisement product, it truly is transparent that destiny advancements in MRAM may be in line with spin-transfer torque, which uses electrons’ spin angular momentum rather than their cost. MRAM would require an amalgamation of magnetics and microelectronics applied sciences. notwithstanding, researchers and builders in magnetics and in microelectronics attend diversified technical meetings, submit in numerous journals, use varied instruments, and feature various backgrounds in condensed-matter physics, electric engineering, and fabrics science.

This e-book is an creation to MRAM for microelectronics engineers written through experts in magnetic fabrics and units. It provides the fundamental phenomena interested in MRAM, the fabrics and movie stacks getting used, the elemental ideas of some of the varieties of MRAM (toggle and spin-transfer torque; magnetized in-plane or perpendicular-to-plane), the back-end magnetic expertise, and up to date advancements towards logic-in-memory architectures. It is helping bridge the cultural hole among the microelectronics and magnetics groups

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The free layer should have a “uniaxial magnetic anisotropy” such as a shape magnetic anisotropy or magnetocrystalline anisotropy, which tends to direct the magnetization along a certain axis called the easy axis. Thanks to this uniaxial magnetic anisotropy, the free layer can store one bit of information in the form of the magnetization direction. The orientation of the magnetization of the other ferromag­ netic electrode is fixed. This layer, called “reference layer” or “pinned layer,” acts as a reference for readout of the stored information.

It is referred to as field-like torque (FLT) or outof-plane torque, and is associated to another source of spin-transfer, leading to a torque ~ 2 plane. Its action is equivalent to applying an ~ 1; M directed perpendicular to the M ~ 1 direction. 17) Out-of-plane This out-of-plane torque is often considered through its ratio to the in-plane torque. It is usually negligible in metallic spin valves but its amplitude can reach about 30% of the in-plane STT in tunnel junctions. It is often neglected in first approximation but nevertheless can be responsible for undesirable behavior in the writing operation of STT-MRAM such as back-switching phenomena (25).

The first functional demonstrator of an STT-MRAM chip was developed by Sony Corp, which presented the first 4 kbit STT-RAM demonstrator in 2004 (32). A lot of further progress has been made since then on both the fundamental understanding of the STT effects as well as on the technological side (see Chapter 6). The first STT-MRAM products were announced by Everspin at the end of 2012 (see Chapter 5) and all the major microelectronic companies now have large research and development efforts, in particular aiming at DRAM replacement by STT­ MRAM beyond the 20 nm technological node.

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