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In designing the shape of magnetic random access memory elements, a sufficient difference in switching current threshold between a full-select element and a half-select memory element is critical. In this article, we present a systematic micromagnetic study of the margin of switching threshold for two specific shapes: eye shaped and ellipse. It is found that at small magnetic thickness, the eye-shaped element exhibits a higher switching threshold margin than the ellipse. However, for relatively thick storage layers, the opposite becomes true. The switching threshold is also a strong function of the initial magnetization state for the ellipse. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.