Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Japan, US firms in joint MRAM development: report

DRAM TO DWINDLE?It is hoped that the computing standard will provide 10 times the memory and greatly reduce the amount of electricity devices use

AFP, TOKYO

More than 20 Japanese and US chipmakers plan to jointly develop technology to mass-produce a next-generation semiconductor using magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM), the business daily Nikkei reported yesterday.

US chip giant Micron Technology Inc and Tokyo Electron Ltd of Japan will lead the joint project, hoping to perfect the technology within three years and start mass production as early as 2018, the newspaper said without citing sources.

MRAM is touted as the next frontier for computing memory over the current standard, dynamic random access memory (DRAM). The technology under development will have a memory capacity 10 times that of DRAM and reduce its electricity draw to about two-thirds of the existing standard, the Nikkei said.

FASTER COMPUTERS

According to MRAM’s backers, the real-world benefits would include much faster computing times and lower power consumption, leading to longer-lasting batteries.

The Nikkei said that other participants in the research project based at Tohoku University in Sendai, northern Japan, include Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd, Renesas Electronics Corp and Hitachi Ltd.

Japan’s Toshiba Corp and South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc are jointly developing MRAM in a separate project while South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co is doing its own research on the new chip, the report said.

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