STMicroelectronics today announced that it has signed an agreement with Ovonyx Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., under which ST will license Ovonyx's thin-film non-volatile semiconductor memory technology. The two companies will also establish a joint development program.
The Ovonyx technology potentially offers benefits over existing non-volatile memory technologies, including faster read/write time, higher endurance, and scalability.
The agreement permits Geneva-based ST to use Ovonyx memory technology on a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing basis in its microcontrollers, flash memory, MOS logic, and other applications. The joint development program will begin immediately and technical teams from both companies will work together to transfer Ovonyx memory technology and develop process technology to integrate the thin-film memory into the ST silicon fabrication process.
"We are highly impressed by the potential of the Ovonyx thin-film technology and excited by the challenges and opportunities it presents to further enhance our already world-class technology portfolio, not only in memories, but also in a wide range of differentiated products and system-on-chip solutions," said Carlo Bozotti, corporate vice president and general manager of ST's Memory Products Group.
Ovonyx memory technology uses the Ovonic reversible phase-change memory process that has been commercialized worldwide in rewritable CD and DVD optical memory disks.
Ovonyx said its thin-film semiconductor memory technology can potentially be used in stand-alone applications, such as flash and DRAM replacements, as well as in embedded applications in many areas such as microcontrollers and reconfigurable MOS logic.