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ferromagnetic

A material, such as iron and nickel, that can be easily magnetized. See MRAM.



MRAM

(Magnetic RAM) A non-volatile, random access memory technology that is designed to initially replace flash memory and, potentially, DRAM memory. MRAM uses magnetic, thin film elements on a silicon substrate that can be built on the same chip with the logic circuits. DRAM, SRAM and flash memories cannot all be embedded on the CPU chip.

Although many large companies, such as IBM and Intel, are working on MRAM, NVE Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN (www.nve.com) is a small company that is a leader in this field with more than 30 patents.

Similar and Different
Writing bits in MRAM is similar to magnetic disks and early magnetic core storage. The 0s and 1s are created by different polarizations of the electrons within a ferromagnetic material. The major difference between MRAM and other magnetic technologies is in the reading. MRAM uses a tunnel junction, and the bit is read as the resistance in that junction. See future memory chips, spintronics and core storage.




A Magnetoresisive RAM Bit
This diagram shows one magnetic bit in the Magnetoresistive RAM technology from NVE Corporation (www.nve.com). The data state (0 or 1) is determined by the polarization of the tunnel junction, and the bit is read as the resistance in that junction.






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