As much of a breakthrough as magnetoresistive RAM might be for its ability to retain data while powered off, its susceptibility to leak currents while turned on has made it impractical as a replacement for cache-oriented memory like SRAM. Toshiba’s new approach could almost literally turn the situation on its head. By magnetizing spin torque MRAM (ST-MRAM) in a direction perpendicular to the magnetic layer, Toshiba cuts off the avenues for leaks without sacrificing speed. The switch away from in-plane magnetization is an upside for the memory as a whole — it shrinks normally large elements to below 30 nanometers and cuts the overall power draw of MRAM by about 90 percent. While there’s no timetable for when we’ll see such cache in a shipping product, Toshiba expects it to reach mobile processors, where even slight power savings can make a big difference. If our next smartphone or tablet survives that much longer on battery through memory we can’t even see, we’ll know who to thank.
Original post by Jon Fingas
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