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Building a Cutting-Edge Platform to Usher in a New Era of Computer Memory

To promote the Ministry of Science and Technology's "Angstrom[1] Semiconductor Initiative", NARLabs' Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) has assisted Taiwan's academic and research teams in protecting Taiwan's competitive strength in terms of equipment autonomy, critical materials, human resources training, and R&D enhancement. Having years of experience in semiconductor technology, TSRI has jointly developed a new type of Spin Orbit Torque Magnetoresistive RAM (SOT-MRAM) with Tsing Hua University, National Taiwan University, and the Industrial Technology Research Institute. They are one of the very few teams in the world to have developed a SOT-MRAM device with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. The results of their research were presented at the world-renowned semiconductor conference, "2021 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits", in June.

MRAM: An Important Future Storage Technology

At present, the world is facing a serious shortage of semiconductor chips, mainly because of the increasing diversity of applications for these chips in modern life. Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM), a new type of storage technology, has become a major focus for the post-Moore's law era of semiconductor manufacturers around the world, as it can efficiently store and quickly analyze huge amounts of data. Leading brands such as TSMC, Samsung, and Intel have already invested in MRAM-related R&D and applications, as well as launched OEM platforms, and it is believed that new products will be coming soon.

Successful Development of Faster, More Energy-Efficient, and More Durable Next-Gen MRAM Components

Although the prospects of MRAM have been drawing considerable attention, the threshold of its manufacturing technology is quite high. In recent years, TSRI has developed cutting-edge MRAM processing and measurement technologies, including ultra-high vacuum metal and metal oxide thin film sputtering technology, ion etching technology, and magnetic electrical measurement and analysis technology. These technologies constitute an all-inclusive, advanced MRAM development platform for Taiwan's industry, academic, and research communities, and will assist the development of SOT-MRAM in Taiwan, enabling research teams to establish key technologies for the coming era of AI chips.

[1] The Angstrom (Å) is a unit of length measuring 0.1 nanometer, or 10-10 m.