Portland, Ore. - Molecular-memory chip startup ZettaCore Inc. last week appointed Intel Corp. co-founder Les Vadasz to its board of directors. Vadasz was a part of Intel's founding team in 1968 and subsequently managed the design teams for the world's first DRAM, the world's first EPROM and, most importantly, the world's first microprocessor.
ZettaCore claims that within the decade almost every electronic device will contain memory based on its molecular memories, nonvolatile chips with low power consumption that will be capable of storing gigabytes. "This is a very interesting technology capability that will be a contender for semiconductor memory technology," said Vadasz.
According to ZettaCore, electronic memory applications are just coming out of the lab, made feasible by hybrid devices that use individual molecules as storage elements and traditional semiconductor technology for the logic circuits that read and write the molecules. "The science is starting to give a solid enough foundation in areas that we consider good business opportunities," said Vadasz.
In 1991, Vadasz established Intel Capitol, a semiconductor venture capital fund, which he ran until June. When he retired, Vadasz began interviewing companies regarding potential board positions.
"I haven't joined any other boards since retiring," said Vadasz, who is a corporate board member emeritus at Intel. "This was the only one I thought could have a high-enough impact that it piqued my interest."
ZettaCore was founded in 1999 by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, and North Carolina State University. Its first round of venture funding was completed in 2001. Venture backers include Access Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Garrett Capital/BancOne, Oxford Biosciences, Radius Venture Partners and Stanford University.