by Danny Staple

MRAM - Magnetic RAM has now started to be commercially produced by FreeScale. It is a non volatile memory, which is fast, has relatively low power consumption, and may become the replacement for Hard Disks. It has been the holy grail of a group of memory chip designers throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

For a robot builder, this means being able to increase the storage on robots by a great deal, without the risk of having to deal with shocks, a common reason for not using a hard-disk based storage system in a robot.

MRAM is not without its own problems. Being magnetically based (as are Hard Disks), it will probably be needed to be kept at some distance from any motors or magnetic sources in a robot.

Its advantage over normal flash memory, including NAND based flash, is that it has a massive number of rewrites, comparable with a hard disk, and not the much lower numbers of writes that is expected from a normal flash memory.