SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Having demonstrated its technology, memory startup Schiltron Corp. is now looking for a partner or more funding.
Last year, Schiltron (Mountain View, Calif.) disclosed its 3-D flash monolithic technology, based on a dual-gate, thin-film transistor (TFT) scheme. It also makes use of a charge trapping technology using SONOS (silicon oxide nitride oxide semiconductor).
The technology combines the TFTs in a series of strings, which can go up to 64 cells right now. Schiltron has produced TFTs with a 48-nm gate length, 45-nm gate width and 35-nm channel thickness.
Aimed for the emerging storage-class memory market, the company's sub-50-nm class technology could one day replace NAND flash, said Andrew Walker, founder and president at Schiltron.
"The scalability of NAND flash is coming to an end. Monolithic 3-D approaches will take over to fuel this multi-billion dollar market," Walker said.
The company hopes to commercialize the technology within ''three years,'' he said. To do so, the company is looking for a partner or more funding, he said.
Venture capital funding is the preferred route, but perhaps the most difficult amid the current chip dowturn. ''We are in a fork in the road,'' he said. ''It is a challenge to get funding.''
Formed in 2006, the company originally received funding from Cypress Semiconductor Corp. Schiltron's devices are being built at R&D foundry SVTC Technologies Inc., a spin-off of Cypress.
Schiltron has also partnered with Entrepix Inc., a provider of CMP equipment and services for semiconductor and other advanced materials. Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) represents one of the processes for Schiltron's approach to 3-D flash.
One of the goals for Schiltron was to reach proof-of-concept for its device architecture using Entrepix' CMP processes. This was leveraged at two key points in the device flow: the creation of the first gate and the formation of the ultra-thin channel, both of which are critical for device functionality.
"The novel device integration achieved in this project is a great example of the growing number of applications where CMP is the enabling process step for unique device architectures and whole new families of future products," said Rob Rhoades, CTO of Entrepix (Tempe, Ariz). "The work Schiltron accomplished is a significant advancement for 3-D flash technology, and is representative of the critical role that CMP will play in new materials and next generation devices."