Samsung hedges its memory bet

Swallows MRAM company to be on the safe side

Anyone who has heard a research speech from Samsung Electronics (SEO:005930) knows that NAND-flash is coming to an end. It is not exactly sure when this will happen, but it will happen – and we will need to replace it with some other technology.

So far Samsung has been firmly behind Phase Change Memory and yet they surprised everybody when they picked up the Californian startup Grandis.  Grandis is, or was, a maker of spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM), a specific kind of magnetic random-access memory (MRAM).  Samsung has not disclosed any details about the deal, other than that it closed in July and covered both technology and assets, which will be folded into Samsung’s memory chip R&D operations.

It seems that Samsung is seriously hedging its bets by continuing to develop 2 of the most promising replacements for NAND.

MRAM has been around for many years and has widely been thought to replace NAND a lot sooner. Several companies did not expect NAND to scale beyond 40nm, but so far thing are going fine all the way down to 19nm and several companies are currently producing test wafers using 14nm technology.S|A

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