Supply chain
UMC and Avalanche partner for MRAM development and 28nm production
Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES, Taipei

Taiwan-based semiconductor foundry house United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Avalanche Technology, a developer of the next generation STT-MRAM (spin transfer torque magnetic RAM), have announced that they have entered a partnership for joint development and production of MRAM to replace embedded flash.

They said UMC will also make this technology available to other companies through licensing with Avalanche.

Under the terms of the agreement, UMC will provide embedded non-volatile MRAM blocks based on UMC's 28nm CMOS manufacturing process. This will enable customers to integrate low latency, very high performance and low power embedded MRAM memory blocks into MCUs and SoCs, targeting the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable, consumer, industrial and automotive electronics markets.

The two companies are also considering expanding the cooperation beyond 28nm, as Avalanche's CMOS compatibility and scalability to advanced process nodes enables integration of unified memory (non-volatile as well as SRAM) blocks into next generation highly integrated MCUs and SoCs, the companies said. This allows system designers to maintain the same architecture and software ecosystem without a redesign.

"We're excited to team with a world leader in semiconductor manufacturing such as UMC to bring this outstanding technology to market," said Petro Estakhri, CEO and co-founder of Avalanche.

"UMC is continuously introducing enhanced process offerings to bring added competitive benefits to our customers," said G C Hung, vice president of Advanced Technology Development at UMC. "With embedded NVM becoming more prevalent in today's IC designs, we have developed a strong portfolio of robust eNVM process solutions for high growth sectors such as emerging consumer and automotive applications. We are happy to cooperate with Avalanche Technology for 28nm MRAM, and we look forward to ramping this process to production for UMC customers."

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