Just in Tokyo, over 20 U.S. and Japanese chipmakers have agreed to come together to jointly develop MRAM (Magnetoresistive Random-Access Memory) as the next memory standard. This coalition is led by memory giants Micron Technology and Tokyo Electron, the largest manufacturer of IC and FPD production equipment in Japan and the third largest in the world.
Unlike conventional RAM technology, MRAM does not store data as electric charge or current flows, but as magnetic storage elements. Overall, MRAM is said to be many times faster than DRAM and also uses less power. In addition, it also does not suffer from performance degradation over time. This has led the coalition to bill MRAM as the "universal memory" for tomorrow.
However, for MRAM to become commercially viable would require intensive investment and research to bring costs down and increase memory densities. As for now, MRAM is estimated to cost around 50 times more to manufacture.
Apart from this coalition, Toshiba and Hynix are also jointly developing MRAM in a separate project, while Samsung is also reported to be developing its own MRAM technologies.