MINA-NEWS #17 - December 2011
MRAM: New pathways for electric current
Spintec, a joint CEA/INAC-CNRS/UJF research unit, has developed a new MRAM structure with research partners in Spain. Manufacturers have already shown interest in the new development, which was published in Nature magazine. The MRAM structure consists of a layer of cobalt between two platinum and aluminum oxide electrodes, and could revolutionize memory technology. The electric current follows new read/write pathways that optimize the properties of the materials through which it travels at each stage, eliminating contradictory demands. The MRAM structure is also faster and could cut the amount of current required tenfold. Just how the new structure works is not yet clear; the Rashba effect and the spin Hall effect are two possible explanations.