Buffalo Memory Releases World’s First Solid-State Drive with MRAM Cache

Buffalo Memory Uses Everspin’s STT-MRAM as SSD Cache

by Anton Shilov
11/19/2013 | 11:30 PM

Buffalo Memory has introduced the world’s first solid-state drive that uses Everspin’s STT-MRAM as a cache buffer. The new memory type replaces traditional dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and provides non-volatility, high endurance and ultra-low latency. Thanks to STT-MRAM, Buffalo’s SS6-series solid-state drives can provide decent performance, simplified design and ultimate reliability.

 

The new Buffalo SSD is designed with Everspin Technologies’ 64Mb DDR3 ST-MRAM that performs as a persistent cache, with full DDR3 speed and non-volatility. Using ST-MRAM instead of traditional DRAM has eliminated the need for a backup battery or super capacitor to power the DRAM in the event of a power failure. An ST-MRAM cache is inherently non-volatile, so it retains cached data during a power failure, and it does not require the drive to flush the cached contents to NAND flash during a power loss.

“In the area of embedded flash storage, we, Buffalo Memory, have an advantage in firmware development that provides additional value for customers like tolerance for sudden power off using backup battery and DRAM as a cache memory. Today we introduce our brand new platform of SATA III SSD, and we have started to develop the SSD with MRAM cache using this platform. We believe that it realizes the best Industrial SSD for customers and we have pursued this innovation aggressively,” said Shuichiro Azuma, general manager, of R&D division of Buffalo Memory.

Buffalo’s SS6 series Serial ATA III SSD with Everspin ST-MRAM cache – designed primarily for industrial applications – improves tolerance for sudden power loss, reduces power consumption as well as lowers access time. Other details regarding the SS6 SSDs are not currently known.

“As an early adopter of ST-MRAM, Buffalo Memory is taking a bold step to continue as an innovator in the SSD market. Spin-Torque MRAM technology will give Buffalo Memory a strong differentiator in the market for high-performance industrial SSDs,” said Phill LoPresti, president and CEO of Everspin.

Everspin’s proprietary spin-torque technology uses a spin-polarized current for switching. Data is stored as a magnetic state versus an electronic charge, providing a non-volatile memory bit that does not suffer wear-out or data retention issues associated with Flash technology. The EMD3D064M 64Mb ST- MRAM is functionally compatible with the industry standard JEDEC specification for the DDR3 interface, which delivers up to 1600MT/s, translating to memory bandwidth of up to 3.2GB/s at nanosecond class latency. The product is offered in an industry standard WBGA package aligned with the DDR3 standard. 

The Everspin EMD3D064M 64Mb ST-MRAM is functionally compatible with the industry standard JEDEC specification for the DDR3 interface, providing designers the ability to quickly adopt ST-MRAM in storage and embedded systems.