Electrical Engineering Seminar Series - Spin-Transfer Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory

Speaker Name: 
Dr. Vladimir Nikitin
Speaker Title: 
Senior Director of New Memory Technology at Samsung Electronics Inc.
Start Time: 
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 10:40am
End Time: 
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 11:40am
E2 192
Prof. Sara Abrahamsson and Prof. Yu Zhang

TALK TITLE: Spin-Transfer Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory: Present Status and Challenges

Abstract: Spin transfer torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) is a promising option for next
generation non-volatile memory due to a combination of fast speed, excellent scalability, high
endurance, and ease of integration with standard CMOS processes. The latter is especially appealing for
embedded memories, as it requires only 3 additional photo masks and, and, unlike capacitive-type
memories (eFlash and eDRAM), integrates well with various transistor technologies. We are very excited
by Samsung Foundry announcement of e-MRAM availability by 4Q2017 on 28nm FDS process, and
believe it will accelerate development by competitors as well.

In this talk we will discuss the underlying physics behind STT-MRAM, and touch upon some significant
advances in materials propelling implementation of this novel memory. Many resolved and remaining
hurdles in productization of the STT-MRAM are stemming from strict set of requirements imposed on
the MTJ performance: simultaneously low switching current, high thermal stability, high magneto-
resistance, low operation voltages, small probability of read-disturb, and long-term endurance. We will
discuss the inter-dependencies of these parameters, and show how they can be resolved by careful
engineering of magnetic materials within storage cell.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Vladimir Nikitin is currently a Senior Director of New Memory Technology at Samsung Electronics Inc. He has 20 years experience in semiconductor industry (e.g., IBM, Hitachi, and Grandis), mostly managing research teams and projects. Dr. Nikitin got his BS degree from UC Berkeley, and PhD from UC Santa Barbara, both in Physics.