Avalanche Technology Builds On Its Extensive IP Portfolio With New Patents for Solid State Storage Systems, PMTJ-based STT-MRAM Design and Manufacturing

August 6, 2014

Fremont, CA – August 6, 2014 – Avalanche Technology, Inc., a developer of ultra-high performance enterprise solid state storage, today announced it has been awarded and or granted additional key patents for its non-volatile spin torque transfer magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) technology in areas of memory management, Perpendicular Magnetic Tunnel Junction (pMTJ) STT-MRAM, and MRAM Integration and Manufacturing. These new patents further strengthen the intellectual property portfolio held by Avalanche related to its pMTJ cell/circuit design, manufacturing and solid-state storage system implementation.

“We will be using pMTJ-based STT-MRAM as one of the core memory technologies in our own ultra-high performance enterprise solid-state storage arrays, which will be brought to market later next year,” said Petro Estakhri, founder, president and CEO of Avalanche. “Our advancements in STT-MRAM design and manufacturing enables us to leverage our own pMTJ and also work with select customers interested in embedding the technology. With more than 200 patents filed and over 100 awarded, our STT-MRAM technology is set to become a disruptive force across a wide range of applications, including storage, mobile, computing, networking and telecommunications.”

Four New Patents Added to the Avalanche Portfolio

In area of Perpendicular STT-MRAM, Avalanche IP covers both pMTJ film stack designs and advanced film deposition methods to deliver high performance pMTJ, which greatly enhance Perpendicular STT-MRAM memory power efficiency, high-density extendibility and long-term reliability. The patent, “STT-MRAM MTJ manufacturing method with in-situ annealing” (USPTO #8,758,850) – discloses a unique deposition method for pMTJ that is proven in practice to overcome some fundamental challenges in pMTJ structure and achieves high TMR ratio at lower RA, which is desired for high density extendibility of STT-MRAM technology. This method also paves the way to achieve ultra-high TMR (>300%) at high annealing temperature (>500°C) in pMTJ films, as covered in another patent application by Avalanche Technology.

In MRAM Integration and Manufacturing, Avalanche IP covers advanced STT-MRAM cell designs utilizing CMOS structures that are less complex, more scalable and lower cost to manufacture than Fin-FET designs. Avalanche’s unique, foundry-proven STT-MRAM manufacturing methods and experience includes: MTJ stacking, MTJ etching, MTJ-CMOS integration and tooling with 300mm wafers.

The patent, “MRAM with sidewall protection and method of fabrication” (USPTO #8,709,956) – discloses a manufacturing method which eliminates MTJ element shorting issues encountered during MTJ etch process in high bit density STT-MRAM products.

Another patent, “MTJ MRAM with stud patterning” (USPTO #8,772,888) – discloses a manufacturing method for MTJ patterning that prevents underlying structures from being exposed during MTJ etch and therefore protects MTJ sidewall from source of shorting. Both patents effectively protect critical-to-function areas during MTJ patterning and subsequent BEOL process for significant enhancement of MTJ array yield and manufacturability, while maintaining low cost by utilizing one single photo mask to pattern entire MTJ stacks including bottom electrodes.

Regarding solid state storage arrays, Avalanche has been awarded the patent “Management of Memory Array With Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM)” (USPTO 8,724,392), which features optimized methods for caching host data and managing controller’s private data employing MRAM. The invention capitalizes on the non-volatile features of MRAM to cache write data and to store flash management tables, which delivers higher system performance while lowering power consumption.

About Avalanche Technology

Avalanche is a disruptive technology company based in Fremont, CA. The company has developed non-volatile STT-MRAM memory technology for vertical integration into the company’s own innovative enterprise solid state storage arrays while enabling key discrete and embedded applications in mobile, storage, computing, networking and telecommunications. Backed by top-tier investors and led by a veteran management team, Avalanche has amassed a distinctive portfolio of more than 200 cell, circuit, process and system patents. By combining its memory components/licensing business with solid-state system arrays, Avalanche is addressing a total market opportunity of more than $75 billion. Twitter: @followavalanche