Freescale Semiconductor has a new kind of Random Access Memory they'd like you to consider soon: MRAM. They've spun off the part of their business that's been developing MRAM chips and gotten $20 million in funding from a handful of VCs to push the technology forward enough to make it commercially available. What's MRAM, you ask?
MRAM stands for magnetoresistive Random Access Memory. MRAM uses tiny magnets combined with conventional silicon circuits to create a combo memory. It is a single chip with the speed of static RAM and the permanence, or non-volatility, of flash memory. Typically, flash is slow and permanent, while SRAM is fast but temporary.
With MRAM powering a portable device, you could have zero boot time, or “instant on.” And you wouldn’t lose any data if the device suddenly lost power. Freescale will transfer its MRAM technology to the start-up and keep an equity position in the new venture.
Other chip manufacturers are working on the format too, trying mostly to solve the one big problem MRAM still has: capacity. Like a toddler or an angry ex-wife, they still don't remember very many things, but they recall them very quickly.