Toshiba's New STT-MRAM Beats SRAM Power Drain by 90%

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kensingtron

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Low power consumption is great. But what I really wanna see is new battery tech coming out in next gen Mobile products. We see prototypes from mit and IBM, yet nothing comes to the table. Who do I need to give my money to to make this happen.
 
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I think this title should say "SDRAM" rather than "SRAM". Almost everything has lower power consumption than SRAM -- that's why we use DRAM as main memories, not SRAM.
 
[citation][nom]BillyONeal[/nom]I think this title should say "SDRAM" rather than "SRAM". Almost everything has lower power consumption than SRAM -- that's why we use DRAM as main memories, not SRAM.[/citation]

We use SDRAM in memory because it is far denser, and thus cheaper, not because it is more power efficient. For example, the Bulldozer and Piledriver dies are made of mostly SRAM cache, yet they're like two orders of magnitude less dense and it's not even the least dense form of SRAM that the dies mostly contain in theL2 and L3 caches that together take up about three fourths or four fifths of each die.
 

martel80

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[citation][nom]BillyONeal[/nom]I think this title should say "SDRAM" rather than "SRAM". Almost everything has lower power consumption than SRAM -- that's why we use DRAM as main memories, not SRAM.[/citation]
Quite the opposite - SRAM needs little energy compared to DRAM - this is what the battery on your motherboard is for (keeping BIOS config data in SRAM) and it will last years doing so.

SRAM cell requires 6 transistors while DRAM needs only 1 transistor and 1 capacitor so it's much cheaper for the same capacity. See what blazorthon wrote.
 

lamorpa

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[citation][nom]kensingtron[/nom]Low power consumption is great. But what I really wanna see is new battery tech coming out in next gen Mobile products. We see prototypes from mit and IBM, yet nothing comes to the table. Who do I need to give my money to to make this happen.[/citation]
Just give a couple of hundred million to a university to found a research program. What, do you think companies are not smart enough to be working on it if there was a profit to be made? Or do you think they are holding it back out of spite?
 
To reiterate what blazorthon said, SRAM is neither cheaper nor denser. It's larger on silicon, thus more expensive, but faster, not requiring the capacitor and refresh cycles of DRAM because it's based off of flip-flop design. It is used when and where the manufacturers find it's trade-offs worthwhile. I like the sounds of what I read on the STT-MRAM, and hope it gets put into use sooner than later. I do find myself wondering which companies will get to share in the benefits of the announced research, and if we'll see the products containing it advertised as such.
 

stevo777

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I'm just wondering if it's a good idea to have a mobile device dependent on not having extraneous strong magnetic fields effect it.
 
[citation][nom]stevo777[/nom]I'm just wondering if it's a good idea to have a mobile device dependent on not having extraneous strong magnetic fields effect it.[/citation]

There could easily be a small magnetic shield integrated into the exterior of the chips. It's not as bad as hard drives about magnetic fields IIRC. Besides, most people aren't in situations where very strong magnetic fields are a problem. How many people have laptops with hard drives, yet never complain about their hard drives getting wiped by magnetic fields around them?
 
[citation][nom]bigpinkdragon286[/nom]To reiterate what blazorthon said, SRAM is neither cheaper nor denser. It's larger on silicon, thus more expensive, but faster, not requiring the capacitor and refresh cycles of DRAM because it's based off of flip-flop design. It is used when and where the manufacturers find it's trade-offs worthwhile. I like the sounds of what I read on the STT-MRAM, and hope it gets put into use sooner than later. I do find myself wondering which companies will get to share in the benefits of the announced research, and if we'll see the products containing it advertised as such.[/citation]

I've been reading about a few MRAM technologies for years... They haven't gotten very far. Most usage that I'm aware of is small capacity chips that are used as replacements for SRAM chips that need non-volatility. It might get somewhere thanks to this development, but I'm skeptical. Most technologies like it have yet to get anywhere despite decades of R&D. I hope to be proved wrong because it's quite an interesting and potentially very practical technology for a huge variety of usage.
 
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