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Renesas Introduces New Circuit Technologies

Renesas presented these achievements on June 16 at the 2022 IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits, held between June 12 and 17 in Hawaii.

Renesas Electronics has developed circuit technologies for an embedded spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM, hereinafter MRAM) test chip with fast read and write operations fabricated using a 22-nm process. The test chip includes a 32-megabit (Mbit) embedded MRAM memory cell array and achieves 5.9-nanosecond (ns) random read access at a maximum junction temperature of 150°C, and a write throughput of 5.8-megabyte-per-second (MB/s).

MacroRenesas presented these achievements on June 16 at the 2022 IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits, held between June 12 and 17 in Hawaii.

As the advances of IoT and AI technologies continue, microcontroller units (MCUs) used in endpoint devices are expected to deliver higher performance than ever, and therefore need to be fabricated with finer process nodes.

MRAM fabricated in BEOL (Note 1) is advantageous compared to flash memory fabricated in FEOL (Note 2) for sub-22 nm processes because it is compatible with existing CMOS logic process technology and requires fewer additional mask layers. However, MRAM has a smaller read margin than flash memory, which degrades read speed. A large gap between the CPU operating frequency and the read frequency of the non-volatile memory is also a challenge since it can degrade MCU performance.

MRAM can also achieve shorter write time than flash memory because it requires no erase operation before write operation. However, further speed improvements are needed to shorten system downtime for over-the-air (OTA) updates required for endpoint devices and reduce costs for end product manufacturers in writing control codes for MCUs.

To address these challenges and respond to market demand for higher MCU performance, Renesas has developed the following new circuit technologies to achieve faster read and write operation in MRAM.

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Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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