CMOS interface circuits for spin tunneling junction based magnetic random access memories

Saripalli, Ganesh
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Magneto-resistive memories (MRAM) are non-volatile memories which use magnetic instead of electrical structures to store data. These memories, apart from being non-volatile, offer a possibility to achieve densities better than DRAMs and speeds faster than SRAMs. MRAMs could potentially replace all computer memory RAM technologies in use today, leading to future applications like instant-on computers and longer battery life for pervasive devices. Such rapid development was made possible due to the recent discovery of large magneto-resistance in Spin tunneling junction devices. Spin tunneling junctions (STJ) are composite structures consisting of a thin insulating layer sandwiched between two magnetic layers. This thesis research is targeted towards these spin tunneling junction based Magnetic memories. In any memory, some kind of an interface circuit is needed to read the logic states. In this thesis four such circuits are proposed and designed for Magnetic memories (MRAM). These circuits interface to the Spin tunneling junctions and act as sense amplifiers to read their magnetic states. The physical structure and functional characteristics of these circuits are discussed. Mismatch effects on the circuits and proper design techniques are also presented. To demonstrate the functionality of these interface structures, test circuits were designed and fabricated in TSMC 0.35$\mu$ CMOS process. Also circuits to characterize the process mismatches were fabricated and tested. These results were then used in matlab programs to aid in design process and to predict interface circuit's yields.

Electrical and computer engineering, Computer engineering