SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After seven years' in R&D, Unity Semiconductor Corp. has finally unveiled its nonvolatile memory technology and also obtained $22 million in funding.
The company's technology, called CMOx, is based on the use of new materials called conductive metal oxides that are said to enable ionic motion. With the technology, Unity claims to have devised a passive rewritable crosspoint memory array that requires no transistors in a memory cell.
Unity (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has been processing 64kilobit products for two years, 64megabit products for one year, and is in design of a 64gigabit product that is now close to tapeout and slated for pilot production in the second half of 2010, with volume production in 2Q 2011.
The company's storageclass memory products will allow it to initially target the highperformance NAND flash replacement market. It is also designed to address the emerging markets, such as solidstate drives (SSDs), mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and smart phones.
"We see ourselves in the twoyear horizon for production volumes of our first product, a 64gigabit storage class memory," said Unity Chairman, President and CEO Darrell Rinerson, in a statement.
Its CMOx technology is said to yield products with 4 times the density and 5to-10 times the write speed of today's NAND flash. Unity's CMOx-based designs use four physical layers of multilevel cell (MLC) memory, and is the key to increasing the density of its storageclass memory products.
The memory effect of CMOx technology is based on ionic charge carriers. Unity's multilayer crosspoint array utilizes a resistance change element, although it's not a resistive RAM (RRAM). Rather, in CMOx technology, conduction is uniform across the device instead of being filamentary.
''As the first crosspoint storage device, CMOx is capable of being scaled below 20 nanometers with a volumetric density better than 4bits/cell NAND. It uses less than 1 microamp of write current per cell, has a 10x write performance and better endurance compared to NAND, and at a much lower cost," said Alan Niebel, CEO of WebFeet Research.
Unity also has closed its Series C round of financing of $22 million. The financing came primarily from Unity's three major venture capital organizations--August Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Morgenthaler Ventures--and a major hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer, also a repeat investor. The latest round brings to nearly $75 million the total funding to date in Unity.