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Intel, Micron unleash novel non-volatile memory

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? Micron? non-volatile memory? ReRAM? NAND flash?

But as indicated by Intel's response 3D XPoint is non-filamentary. And when comparing the 3D Xpoint to other forms of non-volatile memory generally during the press conference Micron's Durcan said: "This is a fundamentally different switch giving a bulk-switching mechanism."

This might suggest similarities to a non-filamentary, non-volatile memory technology based on the metal-insulator Mott transition in nickel oxide being researched by Carlos Paz de Araujo, a professor at the University of Colorado and the founder and CEO of Symetrix Corp. (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Araujo has labelled his memory Correlated Electron RAM, or CeRAM to differentiate it from filamentary cross-point memories.

Micron's Durcan said: "We are not the only companies thinking of bringing resistive elements to memory, but ours is unique." Intel's Crooke said the memory has the three attributes of: non-volatility, density and speed and that the memory scales in both the x-y plane and the z direction.

The executives declined to put a figure on the cost of developing 3D XPoint saying it was the result of a decade of collaboration between Intel and Micron. "The technology has been underdevelopment since 2012, hundreds of engineers have been involved," Crooke added.

When asked if the companies would share the technology with other manufacturers both Durcan and Crooke said that Intel and Micron would be investing in manufacturing 3D XPoint at the jointly-owned wafer fab in Utah and that it would be possible to expand manufacturing of the technology into other fabs within the Intel and Micron network of fabs as necessary. "There's no need to collaborate with other companies," said Crooke.

Intel did confirm that 3D XPoint manufacturing is compatible with back-end-of-line (BEOL) processing, which opens up the possibility of deploying 3D Xpoint memory on top of a plane of logic and as an embedded non-volatile memory option. But in email correspondence emphasized that the launch discussion is only about the technology as the basis of a discrete stand-alone memory.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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