Toshiba Creates New Type of MRAM for Smartphone Processors to Lower Power ConsumptionCategory: Memory
Posted: December 11, 2012 02:22AM
A problem with smartphones and even tablets is that despite all the wonderous abilities, the battery life leaves something to be desired. Larger battery packs are a way around that, but in the race for the slimmest device, there are limits as to how large a battery can be before being too obtrusive. Luckily, Toshiba may have a solution to those woes, and it isn't a battery pack. Rather, Toshiba has created a low-power, high-speed version of MRAM capable of cutting power consumption in mobile processors by 66%. This new MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) can replace the SRAM used as cache memory, with the same or larger amounts consuming far less power. Toshiba uses spin-torque technology to lower the charge needed for memory writes. Spin-torque technology uses the spin of electrons to set the orientation of the magnetic bits, with the memory chips using elements smaller than 30nm.
Toshiba has focused on decreasing power consumption and increasing speed with this new MRAM, so a smaller amount is more beneficial than a large amount of SRAM in a cache. The company is working with several others to increase the storage capacity to serve as a possible replacement for DRAM and even flash memory, but it may when the next-generation memory arrives that we see that alternative. As for the MRAM memory-cache, well, there isn't a timeframe for its use in the market, but hopefully Toshiba has word on that soon.