Just when we were all about content with current SSD speeds, here comes Everspin with a new non-volatile memory solution that promises to be up to 500x faster than traditional NAND. Whew. “ST-MRAM”, or “Spin-Torque Magnetoresistive RAM” for long, uses an interesting electron-spinning technology that magnetically captures data, unlike traditional NAND which electrically stores it.
The technology is interesting in itself, but what’s most exciting is the sheer performance it offers. If things were perfect now, we could see ST-MRAM totally replace volatile chips on DRAM modules – and that’s an example the company has so far given, with a produced stick. The problem? It weighs in at a not-so-hearty 64MB, thanks to the fact that it’s about 50 times as expensive as current NAND flash chips.
Like most new technology though, pricing will indeed come down, and densities will rise. At the moment, Everspin doesn’t see these chips being used as primary storage, but rather a complement. While a DRAM module could have 80% regular chips, it could feature 20% ST-MRAM to act as a super-fast cache. The same could be applied to SSDs, where the cache would suddenly become 500x faster than the rest of the storage.
Whatever its uses though, that kind of speed on similar-sized chips as what we have now is simply mind-blowing. Bring, it, on.