A Nonvolatile Magnetoelectric Random Access Memory Circuit

Tech ID: 30041 / UC Case 2012-875-0

Summary

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a nonvolatile random-access memory circuit (MeRAM) that is very dense, fast, and consumes extremely low power.

Background

Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer data storage that directly affects a computer’s speed. As society becomes heavily data-driven it is crucial that dense, low-powered RAM devices are created for more digital workspaces and faster running programs. Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) is one example of RAM that has dense memory but is volatile and consumes large amounts of energy. Spin-transfer torque magnetic random-access memory (STT-RAM) is nonvolatile and has medium range speed, density, and power. However, it suffers from possible disturbance of the stored information during read operation. Thus, there is a need for RAM with high density and speed that consumes little power.

Innovation

UCLA researchers have developed a nonvolatile random-access memory circuit (MeRAM) that is very dense, fast, and consumes extremely low power. MeRAM uses a voltage controlled magnetic memory and switching mechanism to write information into memory bits. This results in a superior scaling behavior for energy and density compared to STT-RAM which uses currents to write information into memory bits. Moreover, the reading and writing mechanisms are completely decoupled, which guarantees read-disturbance free-operation. MrREM eliminates the performance-reliability tradeoff associated with bit readout seen in other memory technologies such as DRAM and STT-RAM. The memory circuit can be applied in embedded or stand-alone electronics such as the memory cache on a microprocessor or microcontroller, computer memory, and disk storage.

Applications

  • Microprocessors 
  • Microcontrollers 
  • Computer memory 
  • Disk Storage 
  • Memory cache for electronics applications

Advantages

  • Dense and fast 
  • Consumes little power 
  • Read-disturbance free-operation 
  • Eliminates performance-reliability tradeoff 
  • Can be applied in embedded or stand-alone electronics

Related Materials

  • Amiri, P.K., Dorrance, R., Markovic, D. and Wang, K.L., 2015. Nonvolatile magneto-electric random access memory circuit with burst writing and back-to-back reads. U.S. Patent 8,988,923.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,988,923 03/24/2015 2012-875
 

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Inventors

  • Wang, Kang L.

Other Information

Keywords

random-access memory, spin-transfer torque magnetic random-access memory, magnetic memory, voltage controlled magnetic memory, nonvolatile memory, solid-state memory, memory bits

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