Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Everspin Technologies, Inc. is the worldwide leader in designing, manufacturing, and commercially shipping discrete and embedded Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) and Spin-Torque MRAM (ST-MRAM) into markets and applications where data persistence and integrity, low latency, and security are paramount. With over 70 Million MRAM and ST-MRAM products deployed in data center, cloud storage, energy, industrial, automotive, and transportation markets, Everspin has built the strongest and fastest growing foundation of MRAM users in the world.
Core Competence with MRAM: From Perpendicular to Field-Switched
Everspin’s knowledge and experience in magnetic memory design, manufacture and delivery into relevant applications is unique within the semiconductor industry. With an intellectual property portfolio of more than 500 active patents and applications, Everspin leads the market in development of both in-plane and perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) ST-MRAM bit cells.
Manufacturing - The Capacity to Deliver
In 2014, Everspin partnered with GLOBALFOUNDRIES for full turn-key 300mm high-volume production of in-plane and perpendicular MTJ ST-MRAM on advanced technology nodes including 40nm, 28nm and beyond. In addition, Everspin owns and operates an integrated magnetic fabrication line located in Chandler, Arizona, where Everspin produces MRAM products are based on 180nm, 130nm, and 90nm process technology nodes. Product package and test operations are located in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries.
Everspin Technologies is a public semiconductor company that develops and manufactures magnetic RAM or magnetoresistive random-access memory (MRAM), including stand-alone and embedded MRAM products as well as spin-torque MRAM (ST-MRAM). MRAM has the performance characteristics similar to standard Random Access Memory (RAM) while also having the persistence of non-volatile memory, meaning that it will not lose its charge or data if power is removed from the system. This characteristic makes MRAM suitable for a large number of embedded applications, such as automotive and industrial where both performance and permanence are required.
The company was formed in June 2008 as a spin out of Freescale Semiconductor. In 2014 Everspin partnered with GlobalFoundries for production of in-plane and perpendicular MTJ ST-MRAM on 300mm wafers, utilizing 40 nm and 28 nm node processes. Everspin went public with an IPO in October 2016.
The path to MRAM began in 1984 when the GMR effect was discovered by Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg. Twelve years later, in 1996, spin-transfer torque is proposed, enabling a magnetic tunnel junction or spin valve to be modified with a spin-polarized current. At this point, Motorola began their MRAM research, which led to their first MTJ in 1998. A year later, in 1999, Motorola developed a 256Kb MRAM Test Chip that enabled work to begin on productizing MRAM technology, which was followed by a patent for Toggle being granted to Motorola in 2002. The industry's first MRAM (4Mb) product became commercially available.
Much of the early MRAM work was done by Motorola, who spun off their semiconductor business in 2004, creating Freescale Semiconductor, which eventually spun out the MRAM business as Everspin Technologies.
In 2008, Everspin announced BGA packages for their MRAM product family that would support densities from 256Kb to 4Mb. The following year, in 2009, Everspin released their first generation SPI MRAM product family and began shipping the first embedded MRAM samples in conjunction with GlobalFoundries. By 2010, Everspin had begun ramping production and sold its first million MRAMs. That same year qualification had completed on the industry's first embedded MRAM and 16Mb densities had been released.
With production ramping, Everspin shipped its four millionth stand-alone MRAM and its two millionth embedded MRAM by 2011. The 64Mb ST-MRAM, which was produced on a 90 nm process occurred in 2012. By 2016, Everspin had announced it was shipping samples of the industry's first 256Mb ST-MRAM to customers, GlobalFoundries announced 22 nm embedded MRAM in conjunction with Everspin, and Everspin went public in an IPO later in the year on October 7.
In 2017, Everspin expanded support for MRAM to FPGAs by bringing DDR3 and DDR4 compatibility to its ST-MRAM products, making it compatible with Xilinx's UltraScale FPGA memory controller.
On September 1, 2017, Kevin Conley was named Everspin CEO and President. Conley was the former CTO of SanDisk and brings enterprise storage expertise to the company.
Toggle MRAM memory utilizes the magnetism of electron spin, enabling the storage of data without volatility or wear-out. Toggle MRAM utilizes a single transistor and a single MTJ cell in order to provide a durable, high-density memory. Because of the non-volatility of Toggle MRAM, data that is held in this memory is accessible for 20 years, at temperature (from -40c to 150c). The MTJ is composed of a fixed magnetic layer, a thin dielectric tunnel barrier, and a free magnetic layer. When a bias is applied to the Spin Toggle's MTJ, electrons that are spin polarized by the magnetic layers "tunnel" across the dielectric barrier. The MTJ device has a low resistance when the magnetic moment of the free layer is parallel to the fixed layer and a high resistance when the free layer moment is oriented anti-parallel to the fixed layer moment.
Spin torque MRAM
Spin torque is a type of MRAM memory is built on a perpendicular MTJ that uses the spin torque transfer property (the manipulation of the spin of electrons with a polarizing current) to manipulate the magnetic state of the free layer to program, or write, the bits in the memory array. Everspin's Perpendicular MTJ stack designs with high perpendicular magnetic anisotropy bring long data retention, small cell size, high density, high endurance, and low power. Spin Torque MRAM has lower switching energy compared to Toggle MRAM, and can reach higher densities. ST-MRAM products from Everspin are compatible with JEDEC standard interfaces for DDR3 and DDR4 (with some modifications needed for MRAM technology). In this mode, these products can act like a persistent (non-volatile) DRAM and require no refresh. The DDR-4 compatible ST-MRAM devices, with a 1Gb density, began sampling to customers in early August 2017.
nvNITRO Storage Accelerators
Everspin developed nvNITRO products to address storage requirements that are typically being served by NVMe products. There are two different form factors, HHHL (PCIe Gen3 x8), and U.2. These devices can store up to 1GB in data today, with greater capacities planned as MRAM densities scale up over time. nvNITRO products can handle both NVMe 1.1 and block storage requirements. Because these products are built on MRAM, they do not require the battery backup of typical magnetic storage products in order to protect data in flight. Everspin officially launched the first version of the nvNITRO in August 2017, based on 256Mb ST-MRAM (1GB and 2GB capacities). Future versions will be based on the upcoming 1Gb ST-MRAM densities which recently began sampling to customers.
Everspin has partnered with GlobalFoundries to integrate MRAM into standard CMOS technology, enabling it to be integrated, non-destructively, into CMOS logic designs. The embedded MRAM can replace embedded flash, DRAM or SRAM in any CMOS design, delivering similar capacities of memory with non-volatility. Embedded MRAM can be integrated into 65 nm, 40 nm, 28 nm and now in GlobalFoundries 22FDX process which is 22 nm and utilizes fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI).