Samsung Fabricates eMRAM Chips on FD-SOI Technology

amsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has fabricated embedded magnetic RAM (eMRAM) chips using 28nm Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FD-SOI) chip process technology.

MRAM is a non-volatile memory chip that can retain data even if the power is Off. It is a resistive memory chip whose data status is determined by the orientation of two ferromagnetic films separated by a thin barrier.

To fabricate MRAM chips, Samsung adopts 28nm FD-SOI process technology. The FD-SOI process is a chip-fabrication technology that forms and creates non-conductive layers of silicon dioxide or SiO2 and then fabricates transistors on top of that to reduce power leakages.

Samsung’s eMRAM controls data status by the direction of current through ferromagnetic films called magnetic tunnel junction. As the MRAM chip can process data as fast as DRAM chips, it can replace NAND flash memory chip as a mainstream embedded non-volatile memory chip solution for a wide range of tiny internet of things (IoT) devices.

So far, eFlash, or embedded flash memory chips have been mainly used with microcontroller units or system-on-chips for these devices to serve as an embedded data storage space. Compared with eMRAM, however, eFlash memory chips are relatively disadvantaged in terms of data processing speed and power consumption. For example, eFlash memory chips are 1,000 times slower than eMRAMs in writing data, while consuming more of power.

Samsung plans to produce 1GB eMRAM test chips at its foundry fab line in 2019, as the company readies the chips’ mass production.