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Singapore's A*STAR to develop 16Kbit RRAM

Posted: 03 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:16Kbit? RRAM? memory controller?

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Data Storage Institute (DSI) has entered into a strategic partnership with 4DS Inc. to develop a 16Kbit resistive random access memory (RRAM) prototype and memory controller. The prototype is seen as a potential candidate to replace conventional flash memory and further push next-generation non-volatile memory (NVM) technology toward storage products with high-density, high-speed and low-power consumption.

The shift from conventional flash memory to RRAM has been encouraged by the growing demand for NVM for applications in mobile electronic devices and by the inherent disadvantages and limitations of flash memory, such as slow write speed and write/erase cycles limitations, as well as RRAM's superior intrinsic scaling characteristics, fast switching speeds and lower program voltages and currents.

4DS has developed a low-power "MOHJO" RRAM that can be manufactured in a fraction of mask steps as compared to flash memory and is produced in a back end of line (BEOL), CMOS compatible process.

Under the agreement, 4DS will collaborate with DSI's expertise in NVM R&D, which includes integrated chip design, device design, material synthesis and characterization, coding and signal processing, tester development and testing.

Both DSI and 4DS will push the development of a 16Kbit RRAM prototype, based on 4DS' concept, together with its memory controller, with preliminary testing being carried out to verify the controller's functionality.

The partnership with DSI will accelerate both the integration of 4DS proprietary processes into CMOS process and the demonstration of the scalability of 4DS' unique MOHJO RRAM cell structure as a high-density memory array.

According to DSI's executive director, Dr. Pantelis Alexopoulos, DSI has built up "immense capabilities" and extensive research activities on NVMs such as spin-transfer torque-magnetic RAM (STT-MRAM), phase change RAM (PCRAM) and RRAM.

"This collaboration would allow us to come one step closer to realizing the next generation of non-volatile memories. RRAM is one of the potential candidates to replace conventional flash memory and further push next-generation NVM technology toward storage products with high-density, high-speed and low power consumption," Alexopoulos said.

Dr. Dongmin Chen, 4DS' chief scientist and former senior Rowland Fellow at Harvard said that DSI is fast becoming one of the leading development centers, and that 4DS is pleased to be collaborating with DSI in Singapore given the growing worldwide interest in RRAM.

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