IEF2013: Crocus MRAM to start mass-production this year.
Crocus Nano Electronics, the MRAM company founded by STMicroelectronics co-founder Jacques Noels, is to go into volume production of MRAM this year.
Noels told the IEF2013 meeting in Dublin that Crocus is building a production plant in Russia with the Russian high-tech investment company Rusnano, and is also using SMIC. Crocus will ship MRAM in the millions of units next year, said Noels.
The market is going to be security-conscious applications, like smartcards, biometric identification, SIM cards and NFC cards, where Crocus believes it has a uniquely valuable proposition because its Magnetic-Logic Unit architecture makes the MRAM memory tamper-proof and resistant to all known types of hacking attacks.
Crocus has developed a way to perform fast (15ns) secure and accurate user identification.
On a 90nm process, write time is 60ns, read time is 15ns and density is 32Mbit. Crocus has plans to put its MRAM onto a 28nm process.
It operates at up to 250 deg C making it suitable for automotive and industrial applications.
Crocus has a joint development deal with IBM for 65/45nm MRAM and has exclusive rights to the MRAM patents generated by CEA/CNRS.
The company has raised $160 million.
Noels believes that Crocus’ MRAM is going to be a very big deal indeed in the security market and says Crocus MRAM will be addressing a market worth $2 billion in 2015 with only one competitor – the Motorola spin-off Everspin Technologies.
In 1987, Noels, CEO of Thomson Semiconducteurs of France, and Pasquale Pistorio, CEO of SGS-Ates Semiconduttori of Italy, got together to merge their companies into STMicroelectronics. For a while it was a toss up which CEO would run the combined group.