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SOI embedded DRAM company raises $16 million

Posted: 29 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:soi? embedded dram? cmos processes? innovative silicon?

Innovative Silicon Inc., a developer of an embedded memory based on floating the body voltage for transistors implemented using silicon-on-insulator CMOS processes, said that Austin Ventures has joined with existing investors to lead a $16.0 million Series B round of investment in the company.

ISi based in Santa Clara, California, and Lausanne, Switzerland, plans to use the money to expand sales and marketing initiatives for its memory technology. The company is pursuing an intellectual property licensing business model for its technology.

The company raised $6 million in a finance round led by Index Ventures, with participation by Auriga Partners and Soitec SA in March 2004 bringing the total invested to $22.0 million.

The use of a floating body allows ISi to dispense with a capacitor at every bit node to store charge. The company has called its memory Z-RAM to indicate zero capacitor. The company claims Z-RAM can achieve five times the density of embedded SRAM and twice the density of embedded DRAM while using a standard SOI logic process.

Austin Ventures invests in silicon technologies across mixed signal, digital, EDA and IP realms.

"The feedback we received on Z-RAM from SOC and microprocessor designers and manufacturers was outstanding. Z-RAM is revolutionary in that it really turns what was a minor bug of SOI into a major feature and achieves for the first time a true scalable single device memory. Embedded memory is now so important to advanced designs that we expect the Z-RAM innovation to have a major effect on semiconductor economics and performance," said Basil Horangic, general partner at Austin Ventures, in a statement issued by ISi.

ISi has taken its design to silicon with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. with a 1Mb test chip implemented in a 90nm silicon-on-insulator standard logic process. ISi, which was founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, retains its engineering base there as a wholly-owned subsidiary of a U.S. parent in Santa Clara, California. The company was included in both the first and third iterations of the EE Times' 60 emerging startups list.

- Peter Clarke

EE Times

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