MOEA, ITRI and UCLA to Collaborate on Memory Technology Development

Article by: Industrial Technology Research Institute

ITRI ​​and UCLA have signed a VC-MRAM cooperative project aimed at accelerating R&D of next-generation memory.

As chip sizes continue to shrink, high-performance magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) technology has become mainstream. To advance the development of next-generation MRAM, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) jointly signed a voltage-control magnetic RAM cooperation project ( VC-MRAM).

With support from Taiwan’s Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), this collaboration aims to leverage leveraged both parties’ technical expertise and capacity for innovation to apply component materials to memory chips for computing and storage.

According to the DoIT, the MOEA has a long history of investing in the semiconductor industry and has encouraged ITRI in the R&D of Spin-Orbit Torque (SOT) MRAM technology. Based on these achievements, ITRI and UCLA continued their collaboration on VC-MRAM, which has 50% faster write speed and 75% lower power consumption than SOT-MRAM and is therefore ideal for AIoT and automotive industry applications. The partnership is expected to strengthen the bond between the two parties, accelerate the R&D and industrialization of new memory technologies, and help companies adopt advanced manufacturing processes at an early stage to improve their industrial competitiveness.

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Dr. Chih-I Wu, Vice President and General Manager of Electronics and Optoelectronics Systems Research Laboratories at ITRI, pointed out that the advantages of VC-MRAM, such as fast read/write and low power consumption energy, make it suitable for energy saving and low carbon. emissions applications, presenting a golden opportunity for ITRI’s collaboration with UCLA.

“This is the first time that ITRI has received actual funding from DARPA as part of a cooperative initiative. We believe that our strengths can be combined to further the development of VC-MRAM technology,” he said.

Dr. Kang Wang, Professor Emeritus and Raytheon Chair in Electrical Engineering at UCLA, noted that ITRI, as an internationally renowned applied research institution, has unique technical expertise and capabilities and terrific. It has a solid foundation and strengths in R&D in MRAM technology, and both sides should be able to build on their respective foundations through their cooperation, yielding even more groundbreaking achievements.

UCLA professor and director of the circuit and embedded systems field, Dr. Sudhakar Pamarti, said ITRI has platforms and experience in component development and manufacturing verification. By realizing UCLA’s innovative ideas in process development, the development of hardware components will be promoted to related applications. He expects that by early 2023, the advanced technology developed through this cooperation will create an entirely new paradigm in next-generation memory.

ITRI ​​began cultivating MRAM technology years ago, including component innovation, material breakthroughs and circuit optimization, and is poised to meet the demands of fast big data processing. in the age of AI and 5G. This is one of the examples that demonstrates ITRI’s commitment to promoting enabling intelligence technologies and fostering innovative applications. ITRI ​​will continue to partner with industry, academic and research organizations to help industries upgrade their technology, explore new solutions and create new possibilities.