The SOT-MRAM Pioneer


SOT-MRAM will replace both Embedded Flash and Embedded SRAM. This will allow high performance with low-power consumption for applications such as:

  • Edge AI chips
  • Internet of Things
  • Microcontrollers XIP (Execute in Place)
  • Image sensors/Display Controllers
  • Data Storage

Edge AI Chips

Operating AI chips at the edge places multiple strains on memory systems, to cope with the signature high-throughput, quasi-continuous, parallel processing. Whilst off-chip memories induce latency, power consumption, and cost, embedded SRAM is showing its limits. SOT is the only embedded memory technology that combines all the requirements for feature maps operation, from the mandatory infinite endurance to high read and write speed and zero standby power, all with a moderate added processing cost.

With neural networks today stuck in the cloud to cope with the ever-increasing power hunger of AI systems, SOT creates opportunities for chip vendors to develop edge AI chips with improved performances and energy efficiency.

IOT (Internet of Things) terminal devices

The addition of internet connections to many billions of ‘terminal devices’ (e.g. sensors, controllers, data loggers, etc.) especially wireless, has amplified the demand for non-volatile memory that offers low power, low cost, high speed, and high write endurance. IOT terminal devices often must operate for years, powered by small batteries or small amounts of harvested energy. SOT memory consumes 1000’s of times less energy and delay than Flash, the industry’s leading non-volatile memory. SOT also offers key advantages over other emerging memories that are also positioned for this application, such as RRAM and STT.

Microcontroller XIP ‘Execute in Place’ Memory

Microcontrollers, which combine all the elements of a small computer onto a single chip, are used ubiquitously in electronic systems. A typical automobile includes dozens of microcontrollers buried in its sub-systems. SOT memory promises to fundamentally change the ‘memory architecture’ of microcontrollers, by combining on-chip storage memory (i.e. Flash) and cache memory (i.e. SRAM), into a single block of SOT memory. Such a fusion will provide substantial system-level benefits in terms of cost, performance, and power consumption across many types of applications.

Image Sensor/Display Controllers

High resolution image sensors and displays have become ubiquitous, with billions of units per year consumed in smart phones, tablets, wearables, and other devices. As image resolution increases with succeeding product generations, the need increases for high density, moderately fast, high endurance, low cost, low power RAM. Embedded SRAM, the traditional solution, is meeting barriers to scaling, struggling to achieve cost and power goals. SOT memory is uniquely positioned to replace embedded SRAM, used as ‘frame buffers’ in chips that process the data to and from these image transducers.

Data Storage Systems

The storage industry is obsessed by protecting ‘on the fly’ data and has long sought a suitable replacement memory technology for ‘data cache’, a function block that buffers data moving through the system, as well as other functional blocks. SOT is the first memory technology that fills these requirements, therein providing enhanced system reliability and lower cost in hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD), with storage systems, such as RAID, further expanding this opportunity.