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Components | June 24, 2011

Crocus' MLU permits implementation of NAND function

Crocus Technology' Magnetic-Logic-Unit (MLU) architecture, a scalable evolution of Crocus' Thermally Assisted Switching (TAS) technology, permits practical implementation of advanced logic and memory capabilities.
Traditional magnetic memories are based on arrays of memory cells where each cell contains two magnetic layers in a stacked configuration. The first layer, often called the reference layer, is always magnetized in one direction. The second layer, called the storage layer, is either magnetized in the same direction as the reference layer to store a "1", or the opposite direction to store a "0".

Crocus' new MLU is based on its proven TAS technology to provide unprecedented stability to the stored data in normal operation. By leveraging this unique stability feature, the reference layer in the MLU architecture can be configured with fixed magnetization to implement a traditional NOR function, with floating magnetization to implement a NAND function, or with driven magnetization to implement an XOR function.

In high density memory applications, MLU opens the way to implementation of NAND configurations in magnetic memory, which was previously possible only in Flash memory technology. MLU NAND memory can be two to four times denser than conventional magnetic memory with the added benefit of full random access.

Crocus' MLU XOR, called Match-In-Place, implements ultra-secure compare and encryption functions, making smart cards, identity cards, SIM cards, and near-field communications (NFC) devices tamper-proof. Match-In-Place also implements the search and compare functions required in network routing applications and high performance computing and can achieve up to fifty times the density of conventional CMOS hardware search processors.

In addition, MLU in all its configurations is capable of normal operation at temperatures up to 200°C.

"MLU has the potential to replace SRAM, DRAM, NAND, NOR and OTP in many stand alone and embedded memory products," said Bertrand F. Cambou, executive chairman of Crocus Technology. "Because MLU's NOR, NAND and XOR capabilities are built on a single wafer manufacturing process with different design architectures, they can be easily integrated into System- on-Chip (SOC) implementations."

MLU is fully compatible with Crocus' current wafer manufacturing process. Crocus will establish volume production of MLU based products in 130nm at its foundry partner Tower Jazz Semiconductor, as well as at its new Russian subsidiary Crocus Nano Electronics (CNE) for 90nm, 65nm, 45nm, and smaller lithography. Both will be based on magnetic technology developed in Crocus' Grenoble facility in cooperation with its clean room partner Minatec.

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