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Numonyx delays 1Gbit PCM devices

Posted: 26 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:phase-change memory? PCM? 45nm process?

Numonyx BV has yet to sample customers with a long-awaited 1Gbit capacity phase-change memory (PCM). The indications from Numonyx are that samples will be available in 2010 with volume production expected in 2011.

The arrival of that memory would go some way towards establishing PCM as a scalable alternative to flash memory. Similarly, its delay could fuel speculation that PCM is hard to make, or that the technology is going to be de-emphasized when Micron completes its acquisition of the Numonyx.

Numonyx has been sampling a 128Mbit PCM implemented in a 90nm process technology since 2008, but opted to jump over the 65nm to create its next part on 45nm process technology. The part was expected to arrive in 2009 but that expectation got shifted in December 2009, at the time of the International Electron Devices Meeting. Paolo Cappelletti, VP of technology development at Numonyx, told EE Times: "The chip we are presenting is a full-specification product. It is meant to be in production in 2010; samples in the first quarter of 2010."

Cliff Smith, business development manager for PCM in embedded applications, said: "We do have [45nm, 1Gbit] samples in house. We are completing the validation. It is a wireless product targeted at cell phone applications. For industrial applications we expect to be about six months after the wireless group."

Other executives said that completion of the 45nm 1Gbit device had taken a little longer than expected. One source said: "We will sample this year. 2011 is when we will talk about products in 45nm."

By then Numonyx could have given up more ground to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Samsung announced that it has begun production of a 512Mbit phase-change RAM on a 60nm process aimed at mobile phone handsets and other battery-operated applications in September 2009.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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